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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 55

Related Articles: Goldfish Systems, Goldfish 101: Goldfish May Be Popular, And They May Be Cheap, But That Doesn't Make Them Easy Aquarium Fish by Neale Monks, Goldfish Disease, Goldfish, Goldfish Varieties, Koi/Pond Fish Disease, Livestock Treatment System, Bloaty, Floaty Goldfish, Gas Bubble Disease/Emphysematosis, Pond Parasite Control with DTHP, Hole in the Side Disease/Furunculosis,

Related FAQs: Goldfish Disease 1, Goldfish Disease 2, Goldfish Disease 3, Goldfish Disease 4, Goldfish Disease 5, Goldfish Disease 6, Goldfish Disease 7, Goldfish Disease 8, Goldfish Disease 9, Goldfish Disease 10, Goldfish Disease 11, Goldfish Disease 12, Goldfish Disease 13, Goldfish Disease 14, Goldfish Disease 15, Goldfish Disease 16, Goldfish Disease 17, Goldfish Disease 18, Goldfish Disease 19, Goldfish Disease 20, Goldfish Disease 21, Goldfish Health 22, Goldfish Health 23, Goldfish Disease 24, Goldfish Health 25, Goldfish Disease 26, Goldfish Disease 27, Goldfish Disease 28, Goldfish Disease 29, Goldfish Disease 30, Goldfish Disease 31, Goldfish Disease 32, Goldfish Disease 33, Goldfish Disease 34, Goldfish Disease 35, Goldfish Health 36, Goldfish Health 37, Goldfish Disease 38, Goldfish Disease 39 Goldfish Disease 39, Goldfish Disease 40, Goldfish Disease 41, Goldfish Disease 42, Goldfish Disease 43, Goldfish Disease 44, Goldfish Disease 45, Goldfish Disease 46, Goldfish Disease 47, Goldfish Disease 48, Goldfish Disease 49, Goldfish Disease 50, Goldfish Disease 51, Goldfish Disease 52, Goldfish Disease 53, Goldfish Disease 54, Goldfish Disease 55,

FAQs on Goldfish Medicines Antifungals, Antibacterials, Anti-protozoals ( Copper, eSHa, Metronidazole, Formalin, Copper, Malachite Green), Dewormers, Organophosphates, Salts, Mela- et al. non-fixes, Misc. Med.s,

Goldfish Disease by "Types", Causes:
Environmental 1, Environmental 2, Environmental 3, Environmental 4, Environmental 5, Environmental , (Absolutely the Biggest Category)
Floaty Bloaty Goldfish
Nutritional (Second Largest)
Eye Troubles
Lumps/Bumps/Growths (including idiopathic tumors)
Viral and Bacterial, Fungal Infectious
Parasitic: (Ich, Protozoans, Flukes, Worms, Crustacean/ Anchorworms/Lernaeids, ) Fish Lice (Argulus),
Goldfish Swim Bladder Problems
Anomalous (Misc., Injuries, etc.)

When to euthanize goldfish     9/20/17
My blue Oranda Zeus is very sick with hemorrhagic septicemia. He has petechiae on his throat and belly along with necrotic flesh sloughing about his mouth, head, and lower gill area. I am treating with Kanaplex and salt.
He is not eating and is bottom sitting. I bought clove oil today but every time I put my hand in to scoop him up he perks up and scoots around. I guess my question is this...in your experience, have you ever seen or heard of a fish this ill recovering?
<Yes; I have; in several cases>
Does necrotic flesh ever grow back?
<Yes... for fins, if the basal area is not completely eroded. On the body, emarginated tissue can regenerate completely>
It's even to the point of flowing in and out of his mouth (the dead flesh). I suppose this is happening internally as well. I am suspecting Columnaris.
<? The Kanaplex should treat this>
He is alone in a 30 gallon bare bottom tank that got cloudy a few weeks ago due to over feeding and lax HOB filter maintenance, followed by a hydra outbreak which was treated with "No Planaria". He went downhill from
there. Current water parameters are fine...0 ammonia...0 nitrate...nitrate not tested...pH 7.4....temp 72. Should I try and do more or euthanize?
<I am not a fan of "giving up" at all easily. I would continue with investigation (reading, books and the Net) and treatment here. Bob Fenner>

Pearlscale with dropsy?  9/4/17
To start, my aquarium parameters are 0 nitrate, and 0 nitrite (I'm not sure about ammonia, since I've been dosing with prime I know that can change results/ give false positives) I detected a presence of ammonia a week ago (0.25 ppm) , which alerted me that my cycle had crashed.
<I see>
For reference, this is a 55 gallon I just set up a few weeks ago with four goldfish; however, both canister filters were moved from previous aquariums the fish lived in (which led me to incorrectly believe my cycle would be fine in the upgraded aquarium).
<Should have been... if the canisters didn't "go anaerobic", and water conditions were similar>
Since detecting the ammonia I'm now doing 45% water changes every two days (before that I was doing water changes biweekly).
My Pearlscale has what I assume are ammonia burns (red areas, which later started to turn black); however, in the last two days she has lost two scales and the red areas are spreading. (Pics included show both sides of her) I am the most concerned about her scales beginning to pinecone out (she's had it for a little longer than a week), obviously my main concern at this point is dropsy. She isn't floating or having any trouble swimming, her gills are red, and I haven't detected any 'air bubbles' underneath her scales.
She's eating fine, but I'm not sure that she's pooping as much as she should (she normally has long, dark poops, but hasn't recently).
<What are you feeding? Some greens I hope/trust, and not much protein>
Her behavior is okay, she's resting near the bottom/in plants more, but I'm not sure if it's because she's sick or because one of the other fish (a larger Oranda) seems to get agitated when the tank light is on and nips at her; which causes her to stay hidden more often (This Oranda and Pearlscale got along fine previously to them moving to the new tank)
I was going to leave her in the main tank and continue to do water changes; but would it be better to set up a ten gallon quarantine tank for her?
<Not move>
If so, would you recommend that I begin treating her with antibiotics? Or should I do salt baths?
<I would leave all fish where they are and cut back your water changes to no more than 25% at a time; AND pre-treat and store change water if you can... ahead of use>
Thank you so much for your assistance,
<Time alone should see these fish improving here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Pearlscale with dropsy?       9/5/17
Hello again,
<"Little sweet one">
Thanks so much for your quick reply!
The condition of my pearl scale hasn't really changed, her scales are still sticking out, there are also increasing red areas around her bottom, and she is continuing to lose scales (I suspect more will fall off). (I have included another picture of her below)
I fed her peas, and she did end up pooping (normally I feed Repashy Soilent green fish food daily or every other day, and then feed peas once a week) her behavior is still fairly normal, she swims around the tank and isn't sitting with her fins clamped.
My next concern is my largest Oranda has developed fin rot, I have included two pictures I took yesterday; what concerns me most is that her tail has gotten even worse since I took these pictures (I'll try to get more pictures later today), as there are now red sections along the edge of her fin.
Is it safe to treat the entire tank for fin rot while it's still cycling?
<Not really; and the principal reason for my previous suggestion NOT to treat. The toxicity of such is far greater concern>
I would like to treat the entire tank in this case because my other Oranda and black moor have tears in their fins and white spots along the edges.
(although not nearly as severe as the fish I've pictured, I'm still a bit concerned about them both)
<I would still hold off till the system is thoroughly cycled. There are means of advancing such, mostly via the use of exogenous bacterial culture products; ala "Dr. Tim's One and Only">
What's especially bizarre is I noticed a white fuzz on one of the Anubias nana plants I have in the aquarium (once again I'll try to get a picture later today); it's coming from the stalk and from some of the ends of the roots, it looks like some sort of fungus. Should I remove the plant from the aquarium or is it safe to keep it in?
<I would leave all as is. The fuzz is simple decomposition from excess food. You can remove when doing partial water changes>
Any advice you could provide would be greatly appreciated!
<Mmm; IF I was going to add anything... it might be simple NaCl and/or Epsom Salt. Please read through Neale's piece here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm

Re: Pearlscale with dropsy?      9/8/17
Hi again,
<Hey Melissa>
If I were to treat with salt, would you recommend doing a salt dip or to treat the entire aquarium?
<The whole tank. Dips/baths in whatever salt/s employed would do very little here>

I moved the pearl scale to a ten gallon a few days ago; normally, I wouldn't, but the Oranda was nipping/chasing her so much I was scared that it would continue stressing her. I've included two pictures that show how red her stomach/behind has gotten (the reddest portion is where she is missing a scale that fell off, and the red is around her scales in case it isn't clear in the photos)
I'm cleaning her tank everyday with 70% water changes, and she has an air pump and sponge filter set up with her.
<... is it cycled. Id est, there is NO nitrite or ammonia present? If not...>

She isn't bottom sitting or hiding in this tank, and she eats (I'm only feeding her a few peas every couple of days now). She is a very social, good natured little fish (which hasn't changed since she became sick).
At this point should I be concerned about septicemia? Or would you say the red is ammonia burns/poisoning?
<The latter, perhaps aiding in the former>
Another note, one of her scales fell off but is still attached to her (just by a little bit), it's become 'fuzzy' looking, I figured I would leave it be and let it fall off on its own, but would it be better to cut it off?
The other fish (in the main tank) are doing better, the fin rot on my larger Oranda looks about the same (barring a few tiny red patches that I couldn't quite photograph).
I've been putting Tetra Safe Start in the tank (definitely not my first choice, but the only thing locally available), so far ammonia levels seem lower than they were originally, but I haven't detected any nitrite or nitrate.
<Not cycled, cycling unless nitrate is accumulating... AND this likely will NOT occur due to the too-large too-frequent water changes. SEE our prev. corr. and where I've referred you to re cycling freshwater systems.>
I will continue doing small water changes with the hope that it will cycle.

and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Thanks again for all your help!

Goldfish with red lumpy operculum     7/25/17
I have a 60-65 gallon aquarium with 6 comet goldfish, 1 black moor, and 2 Chinese or Siamese Plecos. I have a hang on side filter system for 85 gallon tank and a submersible pump for circulation. There are variegated
philodendrons rooting in tank. When the tank was first started 2 years ago, my daughter threw some crawdads and snails and mollusks from a creek in with the fish. The snails and mollusks were eaten and the crawdads eventually killed off each other. Saturday's are 10% water change and vacuum days.
<Good. I'd increase this to 20-25%>
Water conditioner is added with new water....sometimes distilled, other times tap.
<Likely no conditioner necessary, and is the distilled nec... Oh, I see this below>
We have hard well water.
<How hard? GH, KH?>
Ph is usually in low to mid 7s. Ammonia is always less than or equal to 0.25 ppm. One in the past I noticed a fish with red streaking of its tail fin that went away untreated.
<Ahh; then I WOULD keep using the conditioner, or store the new change water a week in advance of use>
The black moor was a Wal-Mart guilt buy that brought ich to the tank a year ago. It was treated with malachite green....something that turned water ugly almost opaque green. It cleared up fast. Now. 1 week ago, the largest goldfish had a lumpy red operculum on right side. Looked like a mass.
<I see this in your pix>
It wasn't there the day before....I remember because family was visiting and looking at fish. Oh--temp of tank is around 70 in summer and cooler in winter. By that evening the lump had spread like a thick red ring with extra slime (??) at periphery of lesion.
<Good description>
I don't have an isolation tank. I added 1 tablespoon aquarium salt to each 5 gallons and put a heater in water....max temp it gets to is 78 degrees Fahrenheit.... pulled out my charcoal and floss filters (2 of each.). The initial site looks better if not pale with darker splotches. I thought it was working but next day the red ring crossed over top of head
and to other side. The margin that advances is very red and highlights the periphery of each scale. I don't know septicemia in fish but it's the closest I can match image to. However, all fish are acting fine eating fine. No flashing, rubbing. Only the one fish has symptoms.
<Thankfully; perhaps it has a/the weaker immune system>

We had one fat bivalve that was missing it's creature the day before I noticed signs. It was only one and it hid in gravel under big decorative rock forms. Can't swear fish ate it but they eat everything. I bought some quick cure..... for what???? ....my daughter swore she saw ich and was frantic....so treated 3 days.....did 25 percent water change. The fish looks same except the ever advancing red line with snotty margins.
<Mmm; I wouldn't use the Quick Cure here... too toxic, and won't help>
The first picture is day one....I know it's a side view but it really just looked thickened. I thought is it a tumor?
<Yes; this is my assessment as well>
The second picture was the next morning. I tried to swab site and look at it under a scope, but I wasn't sure what I was looking for. I know what dog parasites and Protozoans look like but not fish. I saw little Coccidia like clusters....ovals with a circle inside. I also saw a couple budding yeast like ovals. This may be a wild goose chase though. I read many posts and went through dichotomous keys....never found the answer.
<I suspect this is a tumorous growth, and not a pathogenic condition (Sporozoan, Microsporidean...) as if the latter, most all fishes would be similarly afflicted>
Please help. I need to stop letting the kids put live edible wild caught critters in tank. I need to cut back on number of fish, but don't know where to move fish to....my husband is over more tanks. The water quality hasn't changed really. It fluctuates little. There is small amount of algae on glass but not much. Sonya
<I'll refer you here to our generic "Goldfish growths FAQs":
and the linked files of the same name above.
Not treatable.
Bob Fenner>

Fwd: Goldfish with red lumpy operculum  7/27/17
Thought I'd update.... I did 25% water change and changed filters and charcoal. The fish 24 hours later looks amazing relative to the day before.
<Great news!>
The swarming margin crossed over to other side and all that is left is little red ring. The right side - the original side - is discolored but not inflamed at all that I can tell...pale operculum and a c shaped crescent of black pigment. It truly looked like a mass and it changed so fast day to day. Thanks for your time. I've grown quite fond of my daughter's fish. I'd hate for anything to happen. I will do bigger percent water changes from now on. Thanks again!
<Incredible improvement... just by fixing the environment. Bob Fenner>

My bubble eyed goldfish popped one of his bubbles, it looks very painful and he is darting around looking agitated.. What can I do to help him      6/17/17
<Doing your best to prevent further damage/trauma by removing all sharp, hard objects that this fish might get snagged on, assuring good water quality (see WWM... moderate alkalinity/hardness and pH...), and good nutrition is
about it. Some folks might suggest the use of salts; see here:
Given these, this goldfish should heal in time. Bob Fenner>

lump on goldfish tail       5/21/17
Sent from my iPad
<Claire.... text? Image? Bob Fenner>
Goldfish With Lump on Tail       5/21/17

Hi there I'm wondering if you can help me
Please see the photo below with my fish with the white lump on his tail.
<I see this>
We have had this fish for approx 3 years and the lump appeared about 6 months ago and has got bigger over time.
The lump does not appear to be affecting him at all as he is still swimming and eating well
Do you have any idea what it could be and if there is any cure
Many thanks for your help
Kind regards
<A growth of some sort... common; genetic, viral?... environmental, likely partly a matter of nutritional issues with goldfishes. Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/GFgrowthsFAQs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Fwd: Goldfish With Lump on Tail       5/21/17
Hi again
I don't think it's anything to do with feeding or the water as there are 2 other fish all of which we've had for 5 years and seem to be extremely healthy with no lumps or problems
Could it be a cyst?
<Mmm; yes ("a thin-walled, hollow organ or cavity containing a liquid secretion; a sac, vesicle, or bladder."); but doubtful... peruse where I've referred you. B>

Unknown disease        5/10/17
I've seen my share of diseases and parasites since I've rescued fresh/salt water fish from LFS and people but this one is a tad different.
I have 150 gallon, sump with about 13 varying sizes of goldfish (Moors, ryukins, calico) Last week I lost my 6 year olds and blind Moor that rather unexpectedly but all the other tank mates showed no signs of distressed.
The Moor appeared to have a lump on the forehead/nasal area. I wrote it off as a tumor or an injury thinking he bumped into the glass but now 7 days later I see the same lump but now LUMPS on my Calico...the lumps almost
look like a fluid filled blister aand they are growing. The Calico shows signs of dropsy and I know the prognosis and will most likely put him down but WTH is this? I haven't introduced any new fish in over a year...guesses?
<... either genetic trouble and/or poor environment, and/or bunk nutrition.
You offer no information of use.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Unknown disease....       5/10/17
I offer no information of use? Just because I didn't include ammonia levels pH and so forth it's automatically genetic or environmental aka I don't keep a clean tank?
<GIGO... vague generalities in response to no data proffered>
Apparently you Bob aren't the expert
<Previously married, flow under pressure.... I stand or sit accused>
just as I am not because you can't identify the alignment.
<... ailment?>
...<Vulgarisms deleted. B>

Question and pictures moor and 1 other goldfish      3/19/17
Alison; please re-size your images (90 some percent) and re-send. We can't accept large file sizes (yours are taking up more than half of our mail server space). Bob Fenner
Question and pictures moor and 1 other goldfish      3/19/17

Omg of course Bob, I'm so sorry, I am not so great with that stuff. Okay so for now here is the black moor. I added a pic of him about a week or so ago too so you can see him then and also the resized pics of what he looked like when I found him dead last night. :( he has this large black spot on him but of course I never noticed before because he was so black .
<Hard to know precisely what this is from the photo, but my money would be on an ammonia burn. The fish also seems to have a damaged cornea. In this situation I would suggest optimising water conditions (zero ammonia and nitrite, of course) and raising the hardness a little if your water is soft (Goldfish prefer hard water, so a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate per 5-10 gallons can help a lot). Avoid very cold conditions when keeping fancy
Goldfish; Moors are fairly robust, but even they don't like water colder than, say, 18 C/64 F, particularly if they're sick or damaged. Certainly, don't expose fancy varieties to frosty, overwintering conditions outdoors.
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Question and pictures moor and 1 other goldfish      3/19/17
Here is the other fancy fish that is now a weird tiny red spotted sick looking fish with a white sick hue to him. I hope you can see the pics? He is amazingly still alive after I took out the dead black telescope friend and put him in this different tank. He used to be a shiny silver grey color? His fin keeps clamping down he swims around all crazy. I'm so sad I don't know how to help!?
<Again, the red colouration of the fins suggests irritation (just as it would with humans) so I'd be looking at environmental conditions before anything else -- see my previous email. I'd also treat with an antibacterial or antibiotic as per Finrot just in case. Not Melafix or salt, but something more reliable, such as Kanaplex or eSHa 2000. By the way, that green-grey is the natural colour of Goldfish; they're all born that colour, and as they mature, they develop the colours we've bred into them. Some never quite change, which sometimes gives you interesting bronzy or brassy coloured fish that might not be as colourful as standard Goldfish but gives them an understated charm of their own. Cheers, Neale.>

Tail fin growth    3/2/17
<Kbytes, not megs....>
I have a 2-3 year old comet goldfish that just this week developed a growth on its peduncle just before the tail fin.
<A tumor of some sort; usually environmentally mediated; viral or not. Not treat-able directly...>
I have no idea what it is and how to treat it. It does not seem to be bothering it, but it just doesn't look good. Any clue and or suggestions?
<Oh yeah; read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/GFGrowthsF7.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish (Bob, can you double check?)       2/15/17
<I concur w/ your analysis and suggestions Neale. Bob Fenner>
I got my first goldfish a few days ago, and just noticed that she seems to have white, string-like strands coming from her fins. I'm not sure if it's the beginning of fin rot or something else.
She also has two white dots on her dorsal fin that I'm not sure about, whether they are the start of an ich infestation or just part of her pattern.
Tank info; 2" fantail goldfish, 25 gallon aquarium, filtration, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 10-20.
I've attached some pictures, please don't mind the poop (I've heard that's normal for goldfish?)
For now I might pick up some Paraguard...
I really appreciate your help!
<Lena, I'm fairly sure these "threads" are Anchor Worms or some other crustacean parasite of that type. This is a pain to treat! Traditionally people used potassium permanganate baths, but products like Waterlife Parazin are probably safer (and certainly easier) to use. Regardless, once the parasites die and fall off, you need to keep a sharp eye out on the fins and skin. The white "pock" marks on the fins could easily be wounds from previous parasites, and have a tendency to become infected. I wouldn't medicate immediately (healthy fish should recover quickly in good water conditions) but if there's any sign of Finrot, such as raggedy edges to the fins or pink/white speckles on the fins, then medicate with a good quality antibiotic (such as Kanaplex). Salt, Melafix and other such products are NOT what you want here, despite their "cure all" reputation. Let me also have you do some reading:
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Goldfish (Bob, can you double check?)      2/16/17
Thanks so much for your help! I'll look into those meds and keep a close eye on her. I'll also read through those pages.
Thanks again!
<Glad to help and good luck. Neale.>

Goldfish with waving/kinked lower caudal fin    /RMF   12/3/16
The lower caudal fins on my Watonai has a definite wave in it on both sides.
<Mmm; how long have you had this fish? About how old is it? You may have "just noticed" this "wave" though it was there, growing more pronounced all the while>
These fins also appear to be less flexible than the same fins on other watonais without this kinking/waving defect. My question is: Is this a genetic defect?
or the result of broken fins that have healed.
<Mmm; likely the former; as you report both sides are similar...>
<Please do send along a well-resolved image of moderate size, showing what you're referring to. In the meanwhile, am going to share your message w/ Neale Monks here for his separate reply.
Bob Fenner>
Goldfish with waving/kinked lower caudal fin   /Neale   12/4/16

The lower caudal fins on my Watonai has a definite wave in it on both sides. These fins also appear to be less flexible than the same fins on other watonais without this kinking/waving defect. My question is: Is this a genetic defect? or the result of broken fins that have healed.
<Hi Joan. There's a question to ask here. Did the kink appear recently, or has it always been there, though perhaps less noticeably? If the kink was always there, even when the fish was young, the chances are it's a genetic abnormality. But if the fins were fine until recently, but suddenly bent out of shape, then either physical damage or vitamin deficiency are more likely explanations. Genetic abnormalities are extremely common among domesticated goldfish (indeed, the distinction between an abnormality and an artificial trait like a fantail is purely semantic). Not much you can do about them, except avoid breeding from livestock that display unwanted traits. Physical damage may fix itself with time, though there's some risk of 'scarring'. Vitamin deficiencies are probably the next commonest cause of deformities after genetics, though some diseases like Mycobacteriosis have been implicated too. Usually the result is kinked spines, but hard to know if other bones, like those in the fins, might be affected too.
Regardless, no cure as such, though optimising living conditions and providing a more varied diet can prevent things getting worse (or the symptoms developing in other fish in the tank). Hope this helps, Neale.>

weird goldfish exophthalmia      9/26/16
Hello WWM Crew!
<Hey Bill>
I have a 4-year-od fantail goldfish, Natasha, with a weird case of PopEye. She’s in a 55 gallon aquarium with another, smaller fantail. I weekly water changes of around 50%. Water parameters are: pH: 70-7.2, ammonia: 0, nitrite: 0, nitrate: 10-20.
<All good>

The aquarium has been running for 14 years, and I’ve never detected any kind of nitrogen cycle crash based on regular testing. I feed the goldfish peas, broccoli, various beans, wilted spinach, strawberry pieces, and dried seaweed (Nori), all of which is organic. They occasionally get live earthworms, scrambled eggs, frozen Mysid shrimp, frozen brine shrimp, and frozen bloodworms. They mostly get the veggies to prevent constipation problems. There is also some Bacopa and Sagittaria planted in the aquarium, too.
<Very good>

About a week ago, I noticed Natasha’s left eye was a bit swollen but not red. The eye was (and still is) clear, so I thought she might’ve just bumped it on something.
<I concur; this is my guess as well. Unilateral exophthalmia (one sided) is almost always due to physical trauma. Like humans, fishes eyes are highly vascularized... given to "popping out" if bumped>

This has happened before and has cleared up after a week or so with no treatment other than more frequent water changes. Natasha was acting normally and eating, so I wasn’t worried initially. The other goldfish is fine, and neither fish is bloated or has ragged fins. This time, the swollen area around Natasha’s started turning red all around the eye after a week, and she started keeping her dorsal fin flat, which is very unusual. I did a 50% water change and started treating
with Seachem’s Kanaplex on Sept. 15th in case her eye was getting infected.
<Which would also be my next level, step of treatment>
She perked up after the first dose. By the third dose (Sept. 20 th), she was sitting on the bottom and moving only when I fed them. On the 21st, I noticed red streaks on her belly, so I started treating with API tetracycline. I took the photos on the 22nd.
Since then, the red streaks on her belly disappeared, and she’s almost back to her usual activity level, but the swelling has increase slightly and is more oriented under her eye. The white streak in the second pic (popeyesm2) appears to be pus that started draining when I took the photo.
The whitish area on the bottom toward the front of her eye also started draining. I don’t know what that that white, mushroom-looking thing is on top of her eye. That showed up a little before I took the photos. Is it a parasite?
<No; not likely. IS some bit of tissue/growth from the fish itself>

Since she’s been about a year old, the back, inside part of her eyes have always looked white like she has especially vibrant tapetum lucida, but that made me wonder the white areas are really something else.
It’s always seemed like she couldn’t see food falling in front of her face, but she can see me sitting on the couch and knows when I get up. I’ve been feverishly reading about PopEye, eye parasites, and tumors, but I can’t really figure out what’s going on. Here eye is still clear, and she can still move it somewhat. What should I do?
<I would cease medicine treatments and rely on time going by, your good care, nutrition to heal this eye in time>

I’m out of tetracycline (more should have been delivered by now, and I will make sure it gets delivered soon). It seems like her eye started draining after I started the tetracycline, but the swelling hasn’t gone down or gotten less red. Any
suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for your help and for running a great website,
Bill Connelly
<Thank you for your kind, encouraging words, and sharing your situation with us. Bob Fenner>

Can Goldfish Develop Tumors?         9/17/16
Hello all:
<Hey Deb>
I have a plain old "feeder" goldfish from Petco that I bought years ago so he wouldn't get eaten. His name is Q-tip and he's about 16 or 17 years old now. He's in a 5 gallon tank
<Uhh; "bonsai'ed"; dwarfed from negative feedback from metabolites, lack of oxygen...
by himself and has been for many years now. Today, I spotted what looks like a growth (kind of gray-ish/reddish) in the middle of his back.
<I see this in your pic>
It's at the base of his dorsal fin, right where it connects. I initially thought it was a piece of food or feces that stuck to him, but it's not.
Any ideas on how I can help him?
<A real environment. Needs MUCH more room especially. Please read here re:

and as much of the linked files above as it takes>
Thank you so much for your help.
<Oh, and to answer your subject line (which you could've done by following our suggestion and searching WWM ahead of writing); yes; goldfish do develop tumors; but this bump is most likely a sore from this animals confinement alone.
Bob Fenner>

Cloudy Fish Eye      8/21/16
Hi my name is Isabelle and your site was sort of confusing me so I hope you don't mind I email you.
<Tis what we are here for: to serve folks in need of help, inspiration>
My fishes eye looks like it does in the photo it however looks like his eye is hanging or something is hanging off. My mum got me antibiotics to put in the tank once a day 2.5mL a day
<What product, active ingredient/s is this?>

but it only looks to be getting worse it is the only fish in the tank and I was about to get another one but I will hold off until it gets better hopefully. its like a dark purple, blue, white colour and I am wondering if it is just a cut off of an ordainment <ornament?> and will heal or is worse?
<Need to discern the cause...>

The places I have gone to too see if they knew what it was said they had no idea.
Thank you for your time,
- Isabelle Brealey
<Let's start with your telling me, us about your system. Size, set up, history, maintenance. And your water quality, tests.
Bob Fenner>

I do see "Mela (non) fix" in the backgd. and it angers me.

Re: Cloudy Fish Eye      8/22/16
The Medication we are giving it is called Melafix there is a photo attached it contains this is a quote from the site as i am not home currently
"Melafix contains active ingredient 1.0% Melaleuca (Cajeput or 'Tea Tree' Oil),
water and an emulsifier to blend the oil into the water."
<Not an antibiotic or actual medication period. A worthless sham. Try searching on WWM re the API rip-off>
I do a water change once a month as it is always quite clean but in a few days the antibiotics i am using said to change it every 7 days.
It seems his eye has worsened over night and it peeling and there is a hole in the middle of the purple area,
<STOP using this worse than placebo. It's toxic to nitrifying bacteria>
He lives in an Aqua Tank 24L there is a pink tree and a statue/orinamte in the tank and pebble rocks.
I have had 3 other fish in there since January 1 2015 he is number 4 the first one had a head problem and it had a friend in there with it so i got another 2 fish to keep him company and this is one of the 2 fish i brought around November 2015 there was something in the tank which killed the other two so he has been alone since march now and his water has been change a fair few times since then.
<Do please see/read on WWM re "frequent partial water changes"... s/b done weekly>
I am taking out the statue when i get home now as he is running into walls a bit because he can see through one eye better than the other.
Thanks again!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Cloudy Fish Eye

So do you think that he could potentially die from this?
<Yes; more depends on the cause here. Is there something environmental as an important influence? Was the origin a simple trauma? B>

Re: Cloudy Fish Eye      8/23/16
I have a cat if that's what your asking and she likes to sit near the tank because its high up
<No hon, am referring to items in the tank itself. You mentioned a pink plant and an ornament if I recall. I would remove those for now. Later I will tell you how to test to see if they're possibly toxic. Also, I would add some activated carbon to your filter... to hopefully remove such issues. Do you have a LFS, stockist... that you can take a water sample to for them to test for quality? I'd like to know especially re nitrogenous wastes. Bob Fenner>

goldfish issue      8/16/16
wondering if you could help identify this weird white growth with a big black dot in the middle on one of our goldfish.
<Appears to be a fungal growth... resulting from a trauma likely; environmental influence. Comet (variety) goldfish get very large (more than a foot long, lb.s weight): NEED large quarters, redundant filtration, circulation, aeration....>
It is a 40 gallon saltwater tank.
<? Saltwater?>
He is still very active, eats good… does not seem to be bothering him. We treated for fungus about a month ago for one of our other fish.
<Need to re-treat, but first re/visit proper systems... I'd have you read re goldfish systems period, and fungal disease issues with this species... on WWM. Do you need help w/ the search tool, indices?
Thanks for your time.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Gold Comet w/ fungal infection? Hypochondria sans knowledge; the usual       5/10/16
<Jas, 14 megs of the same pix? >
I don't have much experience with fish disease as I don't really get sick fish but just once every 15-24 months (except for the occasional Endler's female guppy getting skinny). Does my Gold Comet in these photos look like it has a fungal infection?
<More like "Spring" Viremia to me>

What medicine and frequency of dosing would you recommend? Currently I am stocked w/ Melafix, Pimafix,
<Worthless. PLEASE search on WWM and READ re these scams>
API Tetracycline, Furan-2, Kanaplex, Tetra ParasiteGuard, Mardel Clout, and Seachem  ParaGuard.
<None of these will treat viral troubles>

Here are some treatments I gave to my Gold Comet last month that may have or may not have contributed to this fungal infection by causing immuno-compromise:
4/7/16 from 5:33-6:20pm put Comet in a bucket that had 12 tsp of table salt for 47 minutes
4/9/16 from 5:18-6:20pm put Comet in that same bucket again for 62 minutes Then I moved the Comet to a 5 gallon x-large bucket to be treated w/ Tetra ParasiteGuard in case it had internal parasites, anchor worms, or fish live
4/12/16, 12:04am poured dissolved 3/5 tablet of Parasite Guard inside to treat possible fish lice
4/17/16, 9:46am did 25% water change
4/17/16, 12:24pm dissolved 2/5 tablet of Parasite Guard before pouring it into the bucket
4/19/16, 4:31pm did 30% water change and then threw in 3/5 tablet of Parasite Guard (since upon reading the directions again realized I didn't have to dissolve the tablet prior to putting it in the bucket unless I had "soft water and/or acid water with low alkalinity")
4/23/16, 4:02pm did 25% water change and then threw in 1/2 tablet of Parasite Guard
5/5/16, 7:54pm did 25% water change <-- I actually should have done this 48 hours or 7 days after my last dosing of Parasite Guard on 4/23/16 depending on if I was treating for anchor worms and lice (water change after 1 week)
or not (water change after 48 hours)
<READ here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/GFinfectionsFAQs.htm
These issues are almost always a result of environmental issues. DO review Goldfish Systems on WWM, Water Quality, Filtration.... Bob Fenner>
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?      5/10/16

I also have Seachem Focus and Seachem Garlic Guard
<Good products but of no use here
. B>

Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?      5/10/16
Hi Bob,
I read only about 25% of the linked article on Goldfish Infections that you provided as it is a very long read.
So I did a word search on "Viremia" and found just one post mentioning it.
Your response in that post was that it was not treatable directly. What do you mean by not treatable directly?
What should I do then?
<... read further? Improve the fish's health indirectly... through improved environment and nutrition principally
There is a possibility that my Comet along w/ my other fish in my 55 gallon tank (it was previously in this tank) may have had contact w/ Tetrahymena (Guppy Disease) since the bucket I used to clean my 55 gallon's largest HOB filter (the AquaClear 70) was previously used to clean the HOB filter (Fluval C2) of my 5.5 gallon tank that may have had Tetrahymena back in January as I lost all 30 guppies in there. I did disinfect the bucket on several occasions with Potassium Permanganate before using it to clean my AquaClear 70 filter. However, I read that Potassium Permanganate
is unable to kill some Protozoans like Tetrahymena- what do you think?
<Bleach... see WWM re>
How does Viremia compare to Tetrahymena- do they have similar symptoms and thus sometimes get mistaken for each other?
<? Not to me. You can take a look at my bio.... I've taught classes on fish pathology... written extensively on topics therein... I almost always use comet goldfish for presentations... they never disappoint; harboring a dozen or more pathogens...>
Can Viremia wipe out a tank full of Endler's Guppies, esp. affecting the females?
<.... not likely; no>
Though it is possible that my Guppies had Fish Tuberculosis instead of Tetrahymena or Columnaris according either you or Neale when we discussed this back in January. I did have a few fish that did have Fish TB symptoms
like a hunched back and skinniness.
<There are a few other causes of such symptoms>
Jason<Keep reading. BobF>
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?      5/10/16

Hi Bob,
To improve the environment, I'll be sure not to put any unnecessary medications that could further immuno-suppress the Comet.
It's going to be tough improving nutrition as he has only eaten maybe once about 3-4 weeks ago (some dry blood worms) and before that he didn't eat for about 4 weeks.
<Not good. A plug here for New Life's "Spectrum" pelleted... what I used exclusively for years w/ my Goldfish>
I might have to try something like frozen brine shrimp, frozen blood worms, or live food.
<Try the sinking pellets first. High palatability, complete nutrition. Bob Fenner>

Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?      5/11/16
For sinking pellets, I have Hikari veggie and carnivore mini pellets.
Recently I also got the Hikari carnivore medium pellets.
<I see>
The only NLS brand stuff I have are jumbo FLOAT pellets which a lot of my fish don't care for (it also has a strange odor). So though I've read a lot of comments online boasting how good NLS brand is, these jumbo FLOAT pellets are the opposite of being "great".
<Thank you for this input>
For the NLS pellets you're recommending, what size and type (like there's something called Thera+) should I get to feed my sick Comet? I usually order things on Amazon.com.
<You could use their Thera; but I would just use the un-laced variety of a small size... Goldfish have no real teeth.

Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?     5/13/16
On May 11th or the afternoon of May 10th, most of my Gold Comet's symptoms went away.
<Ah good>
When can I put him back in my 55 gallon tank which has 2 Kissing Gourami's, a Convict/Red-Point Honduran Cichlid Hybrid, Butterfly Koi, Tilapia (from a nearby stream), Clarias Fuscus (Hong Kong catfish), and Trinidad Pleco?
<Never. Not compatible with these others; and this tank is already overcrowded physiologically and more
Should I worry about transmission of Spring "Viremia" to any of these other fishes?
<Your GFs problems were environmental; caused by your poor choices.... stop writing and start reading. Re the needs of this mish mash you've tossed together. B>
I'm under the impression that he'll be more likely to eat if have him in the 55 gallon tank as compared to the 5 gallon white bucket I have him in right now.
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?     5/13/16

Oh yeah, I also have a Yoyo Loach in that 55 gallon tank.

Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?     5/14/16
According to this presentation
"Dead or dying fish that are suspected to be infected with VHSV or SVC should be immediately submitted for evaluation to regional agencies."
My fish is neither dead nor dying. Is Spring Viremia such a rare disease in fish purchased at pet stores that it must be submitted to a wildlife agency when the fish is dying or has died?
<Mmm; could be other viral issue; but... the root cause here as already mentioned twice: Environmental>
Is it more likely that the Comet I purchased became a carrier while it was at a pet store (in this case Petco, which doesn't have the best reputation for having healthy fish) or that it was infected by water, water plants, and/or fish from a local Hawaiian stream?

Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection? Poisoned by treatments    5/15/16
According to this
2.5 mg/L of Potassium Permanganate will completely kill bacteria.
But you need 50 mg/L to completely inactivate viruses, a dose 20 times that needed to kill bacteria.
This is my calculation:
*50 mg/L to PP to inactivate viruses = 10 tsp/L = 10 tsp/0.246 gallon = 40 tsp/1 gallon *
*While in contrast you just need 2 tsp/1 gallon to kill bacteria - however, I usually just use 1/2 a teaspoon of Potassium Permanganate per 2 gallons of water to disinfect my buckets*
*So do you think I really need 40 tsp/1 gallon to inactivate viruses?* I read online that Spring Viremia can also affect Guppies, so perhaps what wiped out (within just about 1 week) almost 30 guppies in my 2.7 and 5.5 gallon tanks was Spring Viremia and not Tetrahymena.
So that would mean that the Cobra Guppy that I got at Petco was a carrier of Spring Viremia rather than Tetrahymena. But there's also the possibility that adding 32 tsp of Aquarium Salt to my 2.7 gallon and 25 tsp of Aquarium Salt to my 5.5 gallon could have killed the guppies and/or made them sick.
<No sense using these or any other treatments. Please read on WWM re Goldfish Environmental Disease/s. RMF>
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?     5/15/16

I don't really see much or any symptoms of Spring Viremia anymore.
<.... are you reading? NOT Viremia, env.!>
Is it okay to now move him from the 5 gallon bucket to my 55 gallon aquarium?
According to the link you provided me earlier (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/GFinfectionsFAQs.htm)  the Comet/other goldfishes do a lot better in larger aquariums/fish ponds.
Should I be worried about him transmitting Spring Viremia to my Butterfly Koi in the 55 gallon aquarium?

Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection? Poisoned, mis-placed....        5/16/16
You forgot to type your message.
<Nope; READ here:

Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection? .... abuse     5/24/16
When I put my Gold Comet back in my 55 gallon tank about a week ago, it was attacked over and over by my Kissing Gourami until much of its back's scales came off leaving white meat exposed along w/ some redness. So I removed the Gold Comet and put it back in the 5 gallon bucket. Now its back is getting redder. Should I put in any kind of medicine or antibiotic to assist it or should I just let the Comet's own immune system heal these injuries?
<You've repeatedly written in w/o taking our advice. YOU are responsible for the troubles your fishes are suffering. Re-read our prev. corr. and/or go elsewhere. Robert Fenner>

Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?   in which Neale takes over this mis-mixed crowded iatrogenic...   6/24/16
<Hello Jason,>
About 6 months ago one of your staff recommended to me the Cichlid Rift Valley Salt Mix. He gave me the link to the instructions on how to prepare it. Recently, I used it for maybe the 2nd time on my 55 gallon tank (I also used it once for my 29 gallon and never had cloudy water) and the water has been cloudy from 6/20/16 until today 6/23/16.
<Assuming you dissolved the ingredients properly, and at the dosages stated, the water shouldn't be cloudy. The quantities of the minerals used is very low indeed. However, if you use the wrong amount you might have trouble. More likely though is one of two things: silty water or a microbial bloom. The former indicates insufficient filtration. Clean the
fine media that traps silt, replace some if necessary, and do water changes regularly. The latter indicates an unstable set of water chemistry conditions, which often trigger algal or bacterial blooms. Review, and act accordingly, ensuring water chemistry stays steady between water changes. Randomly adding pH-up and pH-down products without understanding how water chemistry works can create precisely this sort of unstable set of conditions.>
I also had cloudy water for 7-10 days that started on 6/7/16. This may have been caused by me adding a little bit of Seachem Alkaline Buffer 2-3 times over a span of 4-6 weeks to slowly increase the pH and KH.
<See above.>
So it seems that the cloudy water may be related to using Seachem's Alkaline Buffer as well as the Cichlid Rift Valley Salt Mix. What can I do to make the cloudiness go away and what do you think is causing it? This website (http://aquariumfish.net/information/cloudy_water.htm) recommended I do add these chemicals: aquarium salt, water conditioner, and Quick Cure.
<Not a bad article at all. But to be clear: you're already adding salt via the Rift Valley salt mix, so adding more is NOT helpful. Water condition should be added with new water anyway, so not going to fix anything. Quick Cure is the one thing I'd skip. It's medicating for the sake of medicating.
No obvious reason at all why it'd somehow magically arrest the bloom of algae or bacteria. These two life forms are symptoms of a problem, not the problem itself. So nail down the water chemistry so it's relatively stable and they'll die back, all else being equal.>
btw- I measured tonight the Nitrite to be at the lowest level of 0.3 mg/l.
<Lethal in the long term.
Alongside possibly silty and/or unstable water chemistry, strongly suggestive of: too many fish, too little filtration, or immature filter media (this can include over-washing mature filter media).
Easiest option probably to add another filter if your aquarium isn't overstocked. If the tank is simply new, it may well be an immature filter and needs time to settle. "Blooms" of bacteria and/or algae is absolutely normal for new aquaria (or aquaria where conditions are changeable, whether water chemistry or something else, like direct sunlight at times of the
year). On the other hand, non-zero nitrite is NOT NORMAL and never acceptable. Focus on the nitrite first; the cloudy water genuinely doesn't matter that much. Fish certainly don't care.>
Couldn't get an accurate reading for Ammonia though b/c regent bottle#2 dried up On 6/18/16 I measured pH to be 8.5 and KH to be 8 thanks to the Cichlid Rift Valley Salt Mix (before that pH was 7 and KH 3.5)
<Welcome. Neale.>
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?       6/25/16

I also noticed my male half Convict and half Red-point Honduran Cichlid hybrid has been sitting on his belly a lot for the past 24 hours...
probably a signal that he's not too happy about the hard water.
<Eh? Central American cichlids are hard water fish. Anywhere between 10-25 degrees dH, pH 7-8 is ideal for all species. Of course they won't be happy if water chemistry isn't stable, but that applies to all fish outside of brackish waters. Please, DO some reading on the fish in your charge; DO review our previous messages; DO use test kits to review conditions in the aquarium and make gradual, appropriate changes as suggested.>
I'll be measuring my pH and maybe KH again as well to see if the pH and KH are actually higher b/c the water is cloudy compared to when I measured the pH at 8.5 and KH at 8 on 6/18/16 when the water was clear.
<Do the Goldfish and the cichlids inhabit the same tank? Not going to work.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?     6/26/16
My 55 gallon tank has the Convict hybrid I mentioned, a Tilapia, as well as a Butterfly Koi. As for my Gold Comet, it died about a month ago. There are also two Kissing Gourami's, Clarias Fuscus, a Trinidad Pleco, and Yoyo Loach.
<Well, obviously the tank is massively overstocked and your selection of species is, well, bad. Interesting fish, but they don't belong together.

Clarias for example are huge, and notoriously damaging to tankmates.
Kissing Gouramis are fish from soft and acidic Asian habitats that feed on plankton, hard to see how they'd be happy in a tank with aggressive hard water cichlids. Please, don't write; READ! The problems with your aquarium aren't to do with magical parasites that flew into your house one summer's eve, but from a profound lack of planning. Read; review; rehome. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?     6/26/16

For the Nitrite test that I have from Tetra (one of the most popular companies in the aquarium hobby in America) the yellow color on the color chart is the lowest reading you can get, and it says it means the Nitrite is <0.3 mg/l. I don't know why Tetra's test doesn't have a color that means exactly 0 mg/l. Maybe there is another brand out there that would give a reading of exactly 0 mg/l? If so, do you know which brand?
<API, for example.>
As I just mentioned, the Comet died. Even if my Koi also likes hard water I don't think the water softener pillow will lower the pH too drastically as this one pillow's maximum capacity is only for 20 gallons. I just want to soften the water enough so that the cloudiness goes away
<Why do you think these two factors are related? I don't.>
and so that the pH of 8 and KH of 8 (I measured them again last night and the readings are the same as back on 6/18/16) can maybe go down to pH of 7.5 and KH of 5-6. Some people online (comments on Amazon.com) and working at fish shop(s) in my area have said that the water softener pillow is better/safer than the pH up and down solutions. 12 hours and 50 minutes have passed since I added the water softener pillow and my Convict hybrid
is now a bit more active and the water has gotten a little clearer.
<The stocking list you supplied in your other email explains the situation perfectly. This tank is overstocked, and stocked badly. You're looking for cheap, easy solutions that will make any inconvenient science vanish. Good luck on that! In all seriousness, your approach to water chemistry is haphazard and reflects no more research than looking at the back of packages that contain products you can afford. That's a terrible way to do research. GET a book on aquarium fish and read the chapter on water chemistry, or READ a magazine article on water chemistry if there's one in print this month. LEARN how pH and hardness are related but not the same, REFLECT on the importance of stability, and UNDERSTAND that there isn't a target water chemistry to aim for, but a need to choose fish that all tolerate the ambient water chemistry your tap water provides. THINK about stocking and filtration, and REVIEW the huge number of jumbo fish you've bought. Even in a tank twice the size of yours you'd have problems. Good luck, Neale.>

Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?  Plus Clariid f'      6/27/16
Hi Neale,
Actually, I think Clarias Fuscus doesn't get as big.
<Easy 20 cm/8 inches. Plenty big enough to cause harm to fish below two-thirds their size. The problem with clariids is that they have a "suck it and see" approach to foraging, trying their powerful jaws on anything organic their long whiskers touch. I'd be leery about combining with, for example, Kissing Gouramis. On the other hand, no real issues alongside Loricariids or Doradids of similar size.>
It is the smaller cousin of Clarias Batrachus, the Walking Catfish, that can grow to about 2 feet. Clarias Batrachus is legal to sell at pet shops or keep at home in most
Asian countries but is illegal here in Hawaii and in a fair number of other U.S. States.
<Quite so. We used to keep/breed them at university, and I'm well acquainted with them. Nice fish, but keep adults (or even large juveniles) singly. So hardy they don't need a massive amount of space.>
However, the smaller Clarias Fuscus, also called the Hong Kong Catfish, is legal in most if not all U.S. states. But like Clarias Batrachus, Clarias Fuscus also seems to harass (at night mostly) certain tankmates more than others.
<Correct; see above.>
It harassed my Albino Oscar for 6-9 months until the Oscar got fin rot while recently it occasionally chases around my Tilapia, but not nearly as bad as it did my Albino Oscar. It seems to harass/is more adept at harassing Cichlids and other deep/thick bodied fish a lot more than long bodied fish like Iridescent Sharks.
<Yes, probably a fair observation. Given space, larger and faster midwater fish might be fine. But honestly, I'd only combine them with armoured catfish of similar or greater size. Clariids just aren't community fish.
Interesting fish, yes; companionable, not so much.>
Thanks, Jason
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection? More re Clariids       6/28/16

When I bought my Clarias Fuscus (about 2 yrs ago) it was around 10.25 inches, now it is 13.5 inches (its rate of growth has been pretty moderate IMO). I'm guessing its maximum size in aquaria may be around 14-16 inches... but probably not 24+ inches like its cousin Clarias Batrachus.
<Would seem about right. Few Clarias fuscus have been kept, so it's probably anyone's guess what their aquarium size might be. It's not a species I know from personal experience. Over here Clarias batrachus used to be very common, but I haven't seen them in years.>
As for Clariids having a "suck it and see" approach, it is actually my 8.75 inch Trinidad Pleco that sometimes gets angry or gets hungry and will suck on my Clarias.
<Hah! Reinforces my point that Loricariids are suitable counterparts for Clariids. Right level of robustness. The behaviour you describe is actually pretty common among the larger Loricariids (and a few of the smaller ones,
such as Otocinclus) and related to their grazing habits in the wild. It may well be your Plec is hungry: provide a continual supply of hefty plant foods to chew on, such as sweet potato, courgette, melon rind, etc. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?      6/28/16

I never saw any of the fish shops in my area sell Clarias Fuscus until about 1 year after I bought mine at an Asian fish market one of the fish shops I regularly go to sold some smaller specimens around 6 inches long for about 8 dollars... while I got mine for just 2 dollars at the fish market. That fish shop only had it in stock for about 2-3 months (this was
back in Fall 2014 or Spring 2015) and after that I never saw them in the store again. I have however found a small fish vendor in Chinatown that also sells them but at a smaller size, of around 5-6 inches, for 2 dollars as well.
<They're farmed in Hawaii.>
There is a famous fish vlogger on YouTube (probably the only notable fish vlogger in Hawaii) who during one of his outdoor excursions showed video of catching two 5-6 inch Clarias Fuscus in local Hawaiian streams.
<Very depressing.>
Too bad he usually doesn't disclose the locations of his outdoor excursions as he doesn't want too many people fishing in these secret fishing spots he's found for himself.
<Shame. Overfishing these catfish is precisely what's needed to exterminate them or at least reduce their numbers. Can you imagine the harm they're doing to the native fish and insect faunas?>
He also did a video showing herds of either Bronze or Emerald Corydoras in one of our local streams.
<Interesting. Cheers, Neale.>

What's wrong with my fish?      4/28/16
I noticed these on my daughter's fish yesterday. I don't know anything about fish and my husband usually takes care of them.
This doesn't seem normal to me. Is there something wrong, are the sick?
<Yes... the markings... opacity to fin membranes, petecchia... point to deficiencies in the environment ("water quality")... Need data on the system water tests... Please READ
Bob Fenner>
Thanks in advance for your help!
Yours truly, Lana

Gold Comet that had prenuptial tubercles.... Still ludicrous speed.    4/10/16
I sent you some photos over a month ago of my Gold Comet that had white protruded spots on its forehead and you said that they were prenuptial tubercles as this was the Spring mating season for Comets. I tried to mate this 7 inch male Comet w/ a possible female Comet 6 and 5/8 inch long om a large cooler holding around 8 gallons.
<? Much too small...>
I put in some Arachnis for the eggs to attach to. Nothing happened.
<Not surprising. Might I ask you; in this "age of the inter/net"; do you read books, magazines? Take a look about (at a library, online book finding services.... you should READ
Anyway, I no longer see the tubercles but soaked the Comet in 2.5 gallons of water in a bucket that had 12 tsp of Morton Iodized Salt 5 days ago for 30 minutes, 3 days ago for 45 minutes, and today for 62 minutes. I did
this in case there were external parasites on the male Gold Comet as it sometimes had clamped fins, was a little sluggish and not eating for the past 2 weeks.
<This variety of (American) goldfish never disappoints in terms of having extensive parasite fauna... external and internal>
Now the Comet is in a 29 gallon aquarium
<Much too small>

w/ a pH of 7.0 (it
was originally in my 55 gallon w/ some pretty big tankmates) w/ the possibly female Comet, 6 Tiger Barbs, a Red Parrot Fish, Clown Barb, Arrow Shark, Pictus Catfish, Sunset Gourami, Redtail Botia, Clown Pleco, Rainbow
Shark, and Giant Danio.
<What an incompatible mix... did I mention that you should investigate the water quality, nutritional needs and temperament of all this mish-mash of species last time?>
It still has clamped fins and is a little sluggish,
<Same as last time; environmental>

relying more on its front fins to swim and not using its tale as much.
Though this could be due to it still recovering from being in the salt bath for 62 minutes.
I hope that the Gold Comet did not contract Tetrahymena (that killed 30 of my Endler's Guppies in January-early February) or some other protozoan from my AquaClear70 that I cleaned with a bucket that I previously used to
clean my filter from one of my infected Guppy tanks- that I did disinfect w/ Potassium Permanganate more than once... however, I read that Potassium Permanganate is not able to kill certain Protozoans like Tetrahymena. btw-
it hadn't eaten for at least a week in the 55 gallon before I moved in to the large cooler... turned out the pH was 5.0 for the 55 gallon tank.
<Yes; I recall>
What do you think?
<That you should READ, understand and ACT... putting these animals in suitable sized and type settings. We can't help you IF YOU WON'T READ. Bob

Ryukin goldfish 3 years old very sick    4/9/16
I wonder if you could help please?
We have a 180 litre cold water fish tank with built in jewel filter.
<Nice tank.>
The water gets changed 30% every week with gravel cleaner. I check ammonia, nitrite, nitrate pH etc levels weekly or fortnightly as our tank was set up 9 months ago. Once the cycle got going (it took around 2 -3 weeks) we have
had 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite and nitrates sit at around 40 or just under.
<Sounds fine.>
We previously had our goldfish (1) in a 60 litre tank since she was bought but bought bigger tank to give her more space.
<Wise choice.>
She is not well and been sitting at the bottom of the tank for days not eating and hiding behind some plants. She struggled with her balance in the water quite a bit for a long time and swim bladder treatment has not helped. She now has red \ blood streaks at the base of her tail and I see blood spotting \ streaks now under her pelvic fins.
<Could be incipient Finrot. But for the most part, I'd have you review this:
And at the bottom of this next page, you'll see something about using Epsom Salt, which can help a lot with constipation...
So far as medications go, I'm a fan of eSHa 2000 for bacterial infections.>
We have air bubbles going to keep oxygen good in tank. I don't know what to do to help her. She seems really sick and don't like seeing her suffering.
Do you know what would be wrong and if there is anything that we can do to help? We have a black moor female too and she seems OK just now. The black moor female is quite new to our tank as we swapped our male black moor with our local fish shop because he had started chasing our female Ryukin and stressing her. Before she became ill she spawned a lot of eggs in the tank.
I hope you might be able to help. Thank you so much.
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Sick goldfish!      3/30/16
<Liz; your image files are an order of magnitude larger than we allow>
Dear Sir/Madam,
<Read my book?>
I was just wondering if you could help me please. We have had 4 goldfish (3 fan tails) for about a month now, and for the last two days I have noticed that something is wrong with 1 Gill of one of them (I have attached pictures below).
<Not new likely. This is a common genetic defect... in the worst bred variety; and only American... Comet.>
Unfortunately, as I am writing this on behalf of my parents, I do not have the parameters of the tank/size of the tank etc. to hand, however, I would very much appreciate an opinion on the following please. I have researched online and I cannot tell whether it is due to infection or possible just an incomplete gill that we had never noticed before.
<The latter almost assuredly.
Otherwise a physical trauma.... from a house cat? Power filter? At any length, not something "to treat". May live a good long while as is>
It looks red with a bit of white" fraying". The other gill is fine and there hasn't been any attacks from the other fish to my knowledge.
Any guidance/ideas would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick goldfish!       3/30/16
<Liz; your image files are an order of magnitude larger than we allow>
<<My apologies, I have tried a different photo but still may be too big>>
>Ah yes; phone pix. We unfortunately are limited to 50 megs of incoming mail storage. Past that, all get bumped<
Dear Sir/Madam,
<Read my book?>
<<I'm sorry, I don't quite follow what you mean? I assumed the website would have a team responding to questions therefore I did not know who I was writing to>>
>Ah no; sorry for the obscure Beatles referent... "Paperback Writer" starts with "Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book"...<
I was just wondering if you could help me please. We have had 4 goldfish (3 fan tails) for about a month now, and for the last two days I have noticed
that something is wrong with 1 Gill of one of them (I have attached pictures below).
<Not new likely. This is a common genetic defect... in the worst bred variety; and only American... Comet.>
Unfortunately, as I am writing this on behalf of my parents, I do not have the parameters of the tank/size of the tank etc. to hand, however, I would very much appreciate an opinion on the following please. I have researched online and I cannot tell whether it is due to infection or possible just an incomplete gill that we had never noticed before.
<The latter almost assuredly. Otherwise a physical trauma.... from a house cat? Power filter? At any length, not something "to treat". May live a good long while as is>
<<No cats, may be filter but it looks like the gill "cover" is completely missing, rather than it being damaged through trauma so I agree possibly genetic defect>>
>Heritable trait/defect<

It looks red with a bit of white" fraying". The other gill is fine and there hasn't been any attacks from the other fish to my knowledge.
Any guidance/ideas would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
<<Thanks, I appreciate you taking the time to respond>>

goldfish mystery illness (RMF, anything else?)<Just to agree w/ you B>    3/13/16
Hello! I am truly hoping you can help me to solve the mystery illness of my beloved goldfish, Clementine and Jujuby. I've read through all the boards and previously answered questions, and can't seem to find a case like mine.
My goldfish are two fantails in a 29-gallon-long tank.
<Just about big enough.>
Water parameters are consistently ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates between 0-20, pH 7.2, gH between 75 and 150, kH around 40.
<All sounds fine. Would also check temperature though. Fancy Goldfish truly appreciate a bit of warmth, certainly not less than 18C/64F, and ideally around 22C/72F.>
I do a 20-25% water change once a week. I feed Spectrum small sinking pellet goldfish food, plus shelled peas about twice per week.
<Sounds good.>
Jujuby has been ill for a couple of years at this point- she has always had trouble with keeping herself upright, and always has clamped fins.
<Clamped fins unusually indicate stress in fish, whether psychological or physiological. To be fair, fancy Goldfish are sometimes so deformed (their funny shapes are deformities, if you think about it) that they sometimes unable to swim properly. This is usually down to a problem with the relative positions of their swim bladders and guts, so when they become constipated, which happens easily on flake alone, they start listing like an unstable boat.>
Other than that, she eats well, and does not gasp at the surface or flash.
I almost never see her poop, which troubles me- I suspect she has fishy diarrhea.
<Constipation. Diarrhoea is when the faeces are loose and copious, relatively unlikely to be noticed in fish given their aquatic environment. Constipation is where the faeces are slow to emerge, and often (in fish) take the form of long brown strings hanging from the vent of the fish.>
Clementine was the healthy one until this past fall, when she developed white bumps on her fins- several on her tail, a few on her dorsal fin, and even a couple on her body near her dorsal fin. I noticed Jujuby seems to have these spots, too. They are definitely not ich (though I did treat for ich just to be safe)- they don't resemble salt crystals, they almost look like they're growing out from the inside of her tail.
<Curious. My gut feeling is something viral, like Fish Pox. Not treatable, but usually goes away when the source of stress is removed. Some vets suggest Fish Pox is extremely rarely seen in fish, others that it's pretty common and latent in most specimens! There's also Coldwater Ick, which looks very like Fish Pox and completely unlikely the Ick seen in tropical fish. It can be treated in the same way as regular Ick though, but with the proviso you MUST warm the aquarium up to at least 20C, ideally 22C, before treating. That's because the Coldwater Ick cysts will take a long time to burst at cold temperatures, and they must burst if the Ick/Whitespot medication is going to kill the free-living stage in the parasite's life cycle. If you don't warm the water, it'll take weeks for the cysts to burst, by which time the active chemicals in the medication will have been metabolised by the fish filter bacteria. Make sense?>
Clementine's poops are often stringy or zigzaggy, or both, suggesting an internal infection.
<See above; this symptom could be constipation. Would make the usual reminder: all-brown faeces are constipation, but if the faeces are pale, even glassy in places, then that indicates the gut is shedding a lot of mucous. That in turn tends to mean there's a parasitic infection of the gut, because the parasites irritate the gut causing it to secrete the
mucous. Such parasites might be worms, might be Hexamita-type Protozoans.
Difficult to diagnose without examining the faeces, so one option is to medicate for both.><<Agreed. B>>
I have tried EVERYTHING- Kanamycin, Erythromycin, Ich Cure, everything.
<Understood. But this sort of scattergun approach is rarely effective (or economical).>
The thing that worked best was putting both fish in a hospital tank. First, I treated with Methylene Blue for 10 days. Then, I treated with MetroPlex, both in the water and food, for 10 days. Though Jujuby was still her clamped-fin self, I noticed that Clementine's white spots disappeared, and both fish seemed to have actual normal poops (a first in a long time).
While the fish were in the hospital tank, I did a 90% water change in their regular tank, and allowed it to fully cycle before reintroducing C & J. I also added a Hydro-Sponge filter to supplement their hang-on-back filter.
Within days of returning to their regular tank, Clementine's spots reappeared- in the EXACT same locations where they had been before! And both fish no longer have normal poops. I am so sad and baffled.
I know this is a lot to read and take in, but I really need an expert's help. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my message.
<Do hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: goldfish mystery illness (RMF, anything else?)<Nada; thanks>     3/15/16

Hello, Neale! I truly appreciate your quick response, and am off to make a donation to WetWebMedia!
<Ah, that's kind of you. Be sure it goes towards keeping the site on the web; we're all volunteers here.>
You're right, I forgot to mention the temperature of my tank- it's always around 68 degrees F/ 20 degrees Celsius right now, and goes to a maximum of 75 degrees F/ 23 degrees Celsius in the summertime- I am careful to use a fan or air conditioning to keep the water temp from going much higher.
<Sounds fine.>
I realize that constipation is the issue most often seen in goldfish, but I never see Jujuby poop, ever. Never any trailing poop- just nothing. I did see a little explosion of feces from her anal area one day, which makes me think diarrhoea. By contrast, Clementine (the healthier fish) usually has good poops- food-coloured on pellet days, and pea-coloured on green days.
But sometimes she produces poop that looks exactly like a knotted thin white thread. Based on my research, of course I was thinking re-absorbed eggs or a parasitic infection, but my Prazi-Quel treatment did not seem to help.
<Agreed. Does sound at least in part as if this fish isn't eating much/enough. Even with worms, something should come out of the vent! Would make the observation that Prazi-Pro isn't the most effective dewormer in
all course. I'm going to direct you to some reading, here:
Loaches are commonly "wormy" when imported, and in some cases deworming is essential. Loaches.com is a great website, and very reliable, and even if you aren't keeping loaches there's much of value there.>
About all that medication, I agree- constantly medicating is probably not the best course of action, but it is difficult to watch them suffer, so I end up trying everything.
<Totally understood.>
I've done a full course of each type of medicine, taking care to follow instructions and remove all traces of medication and let the bacteria in the tank return to normal before beginning another treatment. As I
mentioned, the Methylene Blue followed by the Metro-Plex seemed to work best, but what really baffled me is how quickly the spots returned, and that they were in the EXACT same place as before.
<Odd, but does make them sound more viral than anything else.>
This leads me to agree that you're right in thinking fish pox might be the culprit? You've also got me thinking that Coldwater Ick may be a possibility, too (I didn't know that existed before!). But would an infection like Ick return to the exact same locations on a fish's body?
<Could do. The infective free-living stages will favour damaged or thin skin, where the mucous is lacking or whatever. But agreed, if all the "cysts" are in the same place, it does sound unlikely. In any event, since
Ick is relatively easily treated with a combo of heat and salt, and Goldfish have a high tolerance for brackish water, going nuclear on this fish for a couple months might the way forward. Something around 2-3 gram/litre isn't unreasonable, and should kill off most external parasites, let alone Ick.>
Not the same general area, but the same exact spots, as if I had marked them with a pen and they re-appeared right there? What do you think?
<Much as you do. Most curious. Leaning towards the virus, which isn't treatable. Or even some sort of unusual tumour (hardly rare among Goldfish). Neither treatable beyond waiting for nature to take its course.
Provided the Goldfish is active and feeding, these sorts of cysts or tumours are a cosmetic issue rather than anything else.>
I really appreciate your help, Neale- it is difficult to speak to someone who actually knows what they're talking about, versus online speculators who, even with the best intentions, may just be re-cycling what they've read or mixing up information.
<Thanks for the kind words. Sorry can't be more categorical though. Good luck going forwards, and if anything changes/improves, be sure to let us know.
Re: goldfish mystery illness (RMF, anything else?)

Thank you so much, Neale- the symptoms of nematode infection as listed on the Loaches site match my fish's symptoms almost exactly- bloody streaks in fins, nodules, white stringy feces, and a bloated vent area. It looks like Levamisole Hydrochloride is difficult to come by here in the US, but I just ordered what I could find, and I hope that it will all work out. Please cross your fingers for me! I will let you know how it goes, in case your other readers are struggling with the same problem one day.
With much gratitude,
<Definitely an excellent website and I'm pleased you've got a direction to work in now. Good luck! Neale.>

I think I have a sick goldfish. No info. of use or reading        2/8/16
I have noticed for a month now, my goldfish will eat his food but will quickly spit it out and then have a mouth spasm.
<What are you feeding? Have you read on WWM re GF nutrition?>
I thought it might be the water, so I did a full water change yesterday and cleaned the rocks. The fish is still doing the same thing. What can I do?
<Read; send data... what re the system, water quality, history of the set up, maintenance, other life present....
Bob Fenner>
Thank you,
Monica Wayne

Lionhead goldfish - Is this a torn scale?      2/2/16
I adopted this little guy from Wal-Mart about 2 weeks ago.
>... what lessons here?<
As per usual, I
cruised past the tanks there and was taken aback to see all their tropical tanks empty. The goldfish and koi were still there but all the tanks were putrid.
The Wal-Mart employee informed me that there had been a massive die-off in these tanks. (And apparently they have no one to break down and clean them. )
Now I already have 1 lionhead, "Eggbert" ("Eggsie"), and I've been wanting to get him a little friend so I decided to rescue one.
That was about 2 weeks ago. "Newbie's" been in quarantine and has shown no sign of disease or whatever it was that swept through the store tanks so I was just getting ready to introduce him to "Eggsie's" tank. I netted him into a plastic Sterilite shoe box filled with 'quarantine' water to begin the acclimatization process and noticed this little 'thing' flipping and flapping along as he wiggled around the container. I swear it wasn't there yesterday.
It's 'goldfish orange' where it emerges from his body and white at the other end. At the white end there's this little notch giving the projection a sort of lily pad shape. I can see no sign of blood, fungus, infection or rot. He's active, wiggly and a good eater. Sooo...Is this a torn scale or what?
<Pic please>
I've put a very, very diluted drop of Methylene blue in the water just in case. pH is 7.0-ish with Seachem Prime and API
Stress Coat.
Your opinion will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Pat.
<Waiting on the image. Bob Fenner>
re: Lionhead goldfish - Is this a torn scale?      2/2/16

I thought I had an image attached, there. Let's try again.
<Maybe the next...>

Re: Lionhead goldfish - Is this a torn scale?      2/2/16
Drat! Hit the wrong button.
Thought I had an image attached, there.
Let's see if this works.
<Yes! Does indeed look as you've stated; a pulled on/out scale. Goldfish, minnows have what are termed "cycloid" (vs. "higher fishes", ctenoid) scales; not inter-digitating, solidly embedded... easily lost from physical action. I would not "pull out" this one scale, but simply continue w/ your good care, nutrition. It may well be shed/lost in time on its own accord.
A note: There are some who do "pull out" what they consider unattractive scales of goldfish, and koi... in an effort to make them look better for competitive shows... they do grow back, though slowly. Bob Fenner>

Re: Lionhead goldfish - Is this a torn scale? /Neale chimes in         2/3/16
Drat! Hit the wrong button. Thought I had an image attached, there. Let's see if this works.
<Certainly looks like a loose scale. Goldfish lose these quite easily. Grow back quickly, and if water conditions are excellent, no need for medications. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Lionhead goldfish - Is this a torn scale?        2/3/16

Whew! Thanks, Bob & Neale. There's a relief. �� When I first saw it I didn't know *what* was erupting from this fish. �� Bob, you are so right about the "lost from physical action" thing.
<Ah yes; does happen w/ traumas, goldfish; but almost always the scale/s is/are lost, come loose, rather then a "hang nail" like here>
This fish is a bit of a 'nervous Nellie'. Easily startled and it's 'off to the races!'. I have no trouble believing that he'd charge out of the gate in a cloud of scales.
So, in your opinion, is it okay to continue with my plan to introduce him to "Eggsie's" tank now or wait until the scale drops of its own accord?
<I'd wait a good two weeks, maybe three in quarantine/isolation... to check for the more obvious large parasites (Lernaea, Argulus...) to show or not. BobF>

Fin rot and ich on a Ryukin        1/13/16
Greetings, thanks for your help in the past in getting rid of the fish lice that came in on these two goldfish. I will never buy fish at this particular PetSmart again. I went back to that store recently for dog food and almost every goldfish in that shipment had passed away. What a disgrace how some suppliers stress out the fish. Anyway, the fantail is doing great and looks very healthy. They are in a 55-gallon. Water parameters are ammonia & nitrites = 0, nitrates = 30. I do a weekly water change of about 50%. They have an Eheim canister filter that can do up to a 75- gallon aquarium, containing primarily biological filtration media. I try to feed them a varied diet, low on the protein. The aquarium is at 75 degrees? So that's the general picture.
Now, the problem is that the Ryukin seems to have a few ich organisms on his gill cover and his tail fin appears to have mild fin rot., I say mild as I have seen no red spots or black edges, but his tail is shorter than it was, as if a bacterial infection may be eating at it.
Is it possible to treat ich and fin rot concurrently?
Should I use salt for the ich and also tetracyclines or triple sulfa for the possible fin rot?
<You could>
Will the salt interfere at all with the antibiotics?
<It will not>
Is it safe for fancy goldfish to be at 80 degrees F for the duration of the ich treatment?
<Yes; even (better) into the mid-80's F.... do add aeration if you can; to augment that from the Eheim>

Can they tolerate it well? Also, should I do a salt bath for the Ryukin to "jump start" his treatment, as it were?
<You could>
Also, there is a baby Black Moor in the tank with them. He's only a little bit over an inch long (not including the tail fin). I got him at the same time as the others but from a different store where their fish seem to be a lot healthier. So far he's shown no sign of disease. I'm hoping he's healthy enough to get through all this. He seems quite lively and healthy. Should he be able to tolerate this treatment OK?
Thanks so much in advance for your answer! Sorry to ask about this when there's already a lot of info on your web site, but I had some specific questions. I greatly appreciate your help.
Riobhka De Pêché
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Fin rot and ich on a Ryukin

Greetings. Just to let you know that I added salt to their aquarium yesterday (2 grams per litre) and also dosed them with erythromycin. We're at 82 degrees F. They just received their 2nd dose of erythromycin today. Do you think it would be a good idea to give a third dose of the antibiotics tomorrow to be sure even though two doses are the recommended course of treatment?
<I would spread the Erythromycin (most antibiotics, antimicrobials) over every three days (at 250 mg per ten gallons) for three times administration. Changing some (25%) water out if deemed necessary>
The Ryukin is livelier and his colours look better today. Also, he's more enthusiastic about eating and that has to be a good thing.
I'm being cautiously optimistic that he's on the road to recovery. Thanks so much for your advice and all the great resources on your web site.
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Fin rot and ich on a Ryukin       1/14/16
Thanks, Bob. I will dose the antibiotics as you suggested. Ludwig is looking even better this morning. The pix don't really show how much better his colour is this morning. We were so worried about him. You can see in the pix the short tail and a small hole in his dorsal fin.
<Is there... a Pleco in w/ this fish? What are the other tankmates?>
I know they'll take awhile to grow back, but the important thing is that he seems to be on the road to recovery. Thanks so very much again for your help. You guys are an invaluable resource.
<Anima bona fac R.... be of good life. BobF>

Re: Fin rot and ich on a Ryukin       1/14/16
Hello again. One more question, if I may. Should seven days of the salt solution in their aquarium at 82 degrees F be enough to eradicate the ich organisms?
<I'd raise and keep at 85 F.>
If not, how long would you recommend? Thanks again.
<Should be. BobF>
Re: Fin rot and ich on a Ryukin       1/14/16

Greetings, Sorry to bother you again, but the Ryukin has taken a turn for the worse after having seemed so much better. I was gone for a couple of hours to the vet's office to get Heartgard for my dogs. When I returned, the Ryukin was swimming upside down and even when I gently touched him, he was unable to right himself.

I have him now resting in a net in his tank. Seeing him from underneath, there is a faint reddish-purple streak in between his ventral fins and the ventral fins themselves look to be turning this colour as well. I'm in the process of raising the temp to 85 F as you suggested. The other fish in the tank still seem perfectly healthy.
My first thought of course is swim-bladder disease, but isn't this often only a symptom of some other underlying problem?
Could the red colour on his underside indicate an internal problem...possibly an infection, especially in light of the fact that these poor fish came from PetSmart apparently with a plethora of problems?
<Yes and yes>
Isn't the current treatment the one that's usually used for swim-bladder problems...salt and antibiotics?
Maybe I should try tripe-sulfa?
<I would not>
I don't believe that it's a diet problem, since these fish eat a varied diet of shelled & thawed peas, Spirulina, organic lettuce, Omega One green seaweed, duckweed (which was quarantined before giving it to them) and only occasionally some freeze-dried mysis shrimp or Tubifex.
<Patience. B>
Any thoughts and suggestions you have for me I will be happy to hear. Thanks in advance for your help.
Re: Fin rot and ich on a Ryukin       1/14/16

Never mind. I just checked on him and he's stopped breathing. He must've had a serious problem to go down so fast. Thanks for your help anyway.
<Yeeikes! BobF>

goldfish; damaged         12/9/15
I have 3 large goldfish in a 55 gallon tank complete with 2- 35 gallon filters and an air enhancer. 2 of the fish are just fine and healthy looking and active but the third one has been hanging on the bottom and seems to be gasping for air.
<Mmm; maybe it swallowed.... gravel? A bug that got in the system?>
I Have seen this fish swim full tilt at the glass and bang his face off the glass.
<Yikes; bad>

His mouth did swell up, but was still able to eat. (actually done this a couple times) His mouth has healed. And have seen him eat, but the last couple days he’s been just at the bottom. :(
<Well; as far as guessing at measures I'd take.... Would only moderately dose the system with Epsom Salt. Do see
WWM re. Bob Fenner>

Fwd: Comet With Gill Issues; env.        12/22/15
Hi Bob and Crew!
Thank you so much your help, I finally pestered mum into buying a water testing kit (only for PH levels though, sorry I don't have more information :/) and found that the water was *way* too alkaline, which finally got mum's attention and now I am allowed to clean the tank/change the water without her (which means every couple of days as I am on school holidays!)
and our fish has improved and looks a lot happier.
<Ah good>
(In your face, mum) He is even back to chasing bits of food instead of moping with no energy. I check the PH levels every morning so far, and have kept them at a stable neutral level.
I have also been using some green anti-fungal and anti-stress/slime coat liquids which I hope is helping; some of the white fuzz around his gills has gone, so I guess it is?
<Again; likely environmental. Other symptoms resultant from this>
Thank you for your input guys,
and Merry Christmas!
From Alice
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Sick Goldfish       11/11/15
Hi Bob, One of my larger goldfish has been struggling with his swim bladder over the course of a few months now.
<Ahh; a common complaint w/ fancies.... that have been fed too much flake and other dried foods>
He had originally lost buoyancy and sat at the bottom of the tank upright.
A week ago I found him on his side and he has continued to be on his side since then. Upon a tactile inspection I can feel a hard mass in his abdomen about the size of a small marble.
<Ah, perhaps a tumor of some sort; or could be a callosity... like a callous on your hand... a thickening; from contact with the bottom>
He is approximately 10 inches in length. I perform water changes every week cleaning out the mechanical filters as well every time (not the bio filters). I constructed a jacket with a flotation device to keep him neutral buoyant
in the tank but he fights until finally managing to slip out of it. I opted to build a long U channel from acrylic placed at the bottom of the tank that keeps him upright and hopefully more comfortable while he convalesces.
I have been hand feeding him in the interim 2 times per day but he is eating very little. I haven't seen him have a bowel movement so this is obviously a great concern given the mass I felt. I had gravel at the bottom of my tank which I have completely removed for fear of it being the culprit of him possibly being intestine impacted. Any insight and direction would be greatly appreciated as I fear I am running out of time and options.
Thanks in advance for your kind help!
Best Regards,
<What do you feed this fish? Have you tried Epsom Salt? Bob Fenner>

Goldfish has Red like bruise.....      10/27/15
Your email has been deleted due to too-large file size. Re-size and re-send
Hello Again....

,,,,, hundreds of Kbytes.... NOT 14 megs. Deleted
Hello Again....  now only 4.5 Megs....

Hello its me again:)
Desperately need your help.... My first goldfish-1
Goldfish-1 she accidentally stucked her tail in Hydor bubble maker after I came from work.... I take her out from Hydor but her tail was partially damage means shredded. .. she is fine and in good health...
<I would not use the Hydor Bubble Maker with Goldfish or very small fish. The impeller (pump) is far too powerful. I've got one, the one that lights up, and it's pretty cool. But definitely for use with strong swimmers: large Plecs for example.>
Now the issue is after I changed their water 90%.. I noticed my fishes are not eating... only the guppies are eating... The rest of the goldfish are not eating...
<Goldfish with Guppies? Risky. Do bear in mind they have different temperature requirements. Guppies are not coldwater fish, doing best between 22-28 C, while Goldfish are subtropicals happiest between 18-24 C. In warmer water than that, it's important there's plenty of aeration (a simple airstone is fine) otherwise you'll see your Goldfish "gasping" at the surface a lot as it tries to get enough oxygen.>
I remember when I changed water I used 2 head cup bottle cover of anti-chlorine for 60 liters as instructed....
<A 60 litre aquarium is too small for Goldfish in the long term. I'd suggest 120-150 litres for a single Goldfish.>
But after that my Goldfish is not eating for three days now.
I also check the water:
N03·20 ppm
N02·0.5 ppm
<Nitrite at 0.5 mg/l is one problem
. This means the filter isn't coping. Too many fish, too little filtration perhaps. Or overfeeding. Often both at the same time. Either way, increase filtration. A simple sponge filter can work very effectively, but I'd also recommend looking at undergravel filters as a cheap, effective way to produce good water quality without too much turbulence.>
PH=6.5 ppm
Alk=80 ppm
<Another problem. Soft water isn't what Goldfish like. They prefer hard water. Let me direct you to some reading:

There's a "Rift Valley Salt Mix" that you could use at half the quoted dose to make water perfect for Goldfish and Guppies.>
Temp: 23c
<Should be okay.>
Please help I don't want to loose my friendly crown pearl scale goldfish and the rest.
<I would imagine not. Hope this helps, Neale.>

re: Fwd: Hello Again....      10/29/15
Thank you for your immediate reply....today I will separate my guppies to goldfish....
My pearl scale goldfish is gasping for air on d top and upside down ...
<Let me direct you to some reading:

Constipation may be the problem if the fish is otherwise healthy: active, feeding, no evidence of Dropsy or Finrot. But other problems can cause Goldfish to turn upside down, including serious environmental stress (non-zero nitrite, non-zero ammonia).>
I bought airstone disk for additional aeration but I think it's not good quality (china made) not enough aeration coming....is it bad to put 2 air stone for additional aeration?
<I'd be surprised if there are any air pumps not made in China to be honest! So if the air pump works and you have a nice stream of bubbles, I'd not worry too much. Add another airstone if you want to, but I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. Review filtration first. Make sure ammonia and nitrite are zero. Better to spend money on extra filters than extra airstones -- though by all means use an air pump to power a sponge or undergravel filter. Cheers, Neale.>

Hemorrhaging GFs; no data or using WWM        10/13/15
Trying to find out what's wrong with my goldfish it has been fat for over a year, but now has red bruises on both sides. What is wrong
<... see WWM re goldfish Traumas.... Likely something here physically attacking... an Algae Eater perhaps? Also use the search tool on WWM to look up goldfish septicemia. Bob Fenner>
Red bruises

Help my goldfish has red bruises on both sides what's wrong?
<See WWM as you've been instructed. B>


Mystery Ailment    7/25/15
Hello. I have a 29 gallon tank with a 75 gallon power filter and 80 gallon sponge filter. It contains 2 mystery snails, 1 Nerite snail, 3 ghost shrimp, and two small fantail goldfish. They seem to be doing ok, except for my white fantail.
I went on a trip about 2 weeks ago. I instructed someone else to feed the fish while I was away. When I got back both the fish were bloated. The white fantail had two lumps protruding from either side of its body. I thought they were bloated because they had been fed too much.
So I did not feed them for two day. Then gave them each 2 peas. The following day I resumed feeding them pellets. One goldfish appears to be fine now. But the white one now has white stringy poo.
<White strings to be a combination of mucous and undigested food... often associated with irritation of the gut, for example by intestinal parasites including Hexamita as well as worms.>
The bumps are not swollen on the white one since I treated the fish for bloat. But the episode seems to have left the white fish with holes on its sides now. My water parameters are fine.
<In what sense? Some numbers would be more useful.>
But the tank seems to have these little white dots on the tank walls. They are a creature of some kind, but I have no idea what they could be.
<Nor I, but snail eggs and calcareous algae are two possibilities.>
The goldfish are fed once a day. They get small, dry, sinking pellets. Just a small pinch. No more. They get an algae tablet crushed into small pieces once a week. The shrimp get fed shrimp pellets once a week to help with
their molting. The goldfish get pieces of the shrimp pellets. It is unavoidable. The tank has abundant algae for the snails.
I have tried to include a picture of the biggest hole on the side of my white fish.
<Literally a thumbnail... 60 x 80 pixels... not very helpful.>
I suspect an intestinal prolapse with my white fantail, but I am unsure.
Any idea what this is and how to treat it?
<It's all a bit vague really, and hard to pin down. Assuming bloating, the Epsom Salt and peas treatment would be the first step, with treatment for Hexamita (Metronidazole + a Furan drug) and intestinal worms being your
next steps if things didn't improve. Cheers, Neale.>

full size pix

Fish still sick     7/28/15
I have ruled out environmental factor with my sick fish.
<No you haven't. You can't. It's always a factor. Keep an open mind. You may have checked water chemistry (hard and alkaline for goldfish). And you may have found ammonia and nitrite to be zero now (but was it a week ago?).
Other environmental factors can be transient, like the presence of airborne toxins such as solvents from paints and cleaning products. There can also be less obvious factors in the environment that stress your fish: direct sunlight causing high temperatures at certain times of the day; lack of swimming space; overly strong water currents; not enough oxygen; aggressive tankmates....>
It has a bacterial infection, bloat, or a parasite infection. I have tried again to include photos of the holes and lumps in my fish. I am using anti-parasitic food, but the fish will not eat it. It am trying some Pima Fix for the bacterial infection.
<Like Melafix, worse than useless.>
I used a little Aquari-sol in a vain attempt to do something for parasites.
<Copper sulphate solution; useless for internal infections, and even at this very low concentration, likely to do more harm than good (repeat after me: copper is a toxin, copper is a toxin).>
I cannot afford to buy anything else for treatment right now.
<So please don't spend money on cheap products with little/no value.
There's an old saying that "a poor man can only afford the very best".
Research carefully and buy one decent product. Not a bunch of cheap but rubbish products.>
I only have the Aquari-sol and the anti-parasite food the fish will not eat. Should I wait until the morning, when the fish is hungrier?
<Worth a shot.>
I got the fish that is sick in quarantine now. What else can I do? I have some epson salts for feet. Should I use it?
Will help to reduce swelling and can also help with constipation. No value in treating bacterial infections, nor internal parasites.>
If so, how're: asking a question about my gold Gourami my female Gourami is pregnant and there is no male Gourami to build a bubble nest what to do

Re: Fish still sick (Bob, any ideas?)       7/29/15
Thank you so much Neal. :)
<You're welcome, Neale.>
Sick fish update       7/29/15

My main tank is 29 gallons. With a 350 gph power filter and a 80 gallon rated sponge filter. The tank contains 2 mystery snails, 1 Nerite snail, 3 ghost shrimp, and 2 fantail goldfish. I live in the Arizona desert, so our water naturally is very hard and full of minerals. Because of this, I have read, we have green water problems. I have a small UV in the tank to help control our water's green water problems. This was a recommended solution to green water problems I also read about.
My tank's water parameters tested as follows:
Nitrate 80 ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
GH 180 ppm
KH 180 ppm
PH 7.5
I did not have an ammonia test or I would have included that as well.    
<I'd get all three Nitrogen tests>

My main concern today is these little white specks in my tank. I have tried to include a picture of them for you. Hope it is useful. Can you tell what these specks are?
<Likely particulates from feeding, the tapwater....>
Another reason I am contacting you is to give you an update on my sick fish that is in the 6 gallon quarantine tank right now. The hole in its side is doing better. And it is eating the parasite medication.
<Ah good. Bob Fenner>
But it still has the unimproved lump on it's other side.
I have included some photos of my sick fish. I am also treating my other fish with medicated food because it too had these strange lumps. No sores yet like on my white on though. Should I try giving them some peas tomorrow? Thank you.
<You could>

re: Sick fish update     7/30/15
Thank you Bob. :)
<Welcome. Do be reading on WWM re Goldfish environmental disease. B>
New development and photo with sick fish

I took a photo with my camera, not my iPhone this time. Upon close examination of the photo I took with my camera, I noticed red streaks on my fish. And it could have been the lighting, but I am almost certain I saw fish lice eyes when I zoomed in on the image. I also noticed a pustule mark when I zoomed in. I think it might be a secondary infection of some kind. Though I have no idea what could have started it. Could the swelling be an abscess caused by a fish louse bite?
<Could be>
Here is a copy of the image. Not as good as it was on my camera, but it was the best I could do.
Your thoughts on this would be much appreciated. Thank you.
<Can't quite make anything out... I'd be waiting on more evidence of crustacean infestation before treating. Bob Fenner>
re: New development and photo with sick fish     7/30/15

Thank you Bob! :)

Oranda with raw, white sore on face
Good Morning,
<And you>
I am at my wit's end and hoping you could help us.
<Will do my best>
My mom has a 270 gallon reflecting pool in her back yard (with a fountain two filters, one of which is attached to a UV light). There are no plants in the pool. She has kept Orandas for years and is cleans the water regularly. Currently she has four Orandas. She feeds them sinking food.
<What brand, type?>
She bought Maybe on 06 May 2015 from PetSmart and introduced her into the pool without any issues. Recently, the pool had been treated when one of the other fish Fatso had white spots (Ich?); he has been healthy for a few weeks now (about two).
About 10 days ago there were two black spots on Maybe's face, one of which developed into a large crack under her right eye on 11 Jul 2015 which is about 1/4" long. Below is a picture where you can see the crack:
[image: Click image for larger version. Name: Maybe_11Jul2015.jpg Views:22 Size: 48.2 KB ID: 173218]
<http://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/attachments/freshwater-fish-disease/173218d1437079547-very-sick-oranda-situation-worsening-maybe_11jul2015.jpg >
<See this>
- 80% of the water was changed Sunday. My mom had the old and the new water
tested (pH, ammonia, nitrates, salinity, everything). The pool was then medicated--after the water was changed--with Melafix
<Of no use whatsoever; in fact, detrimental>

(before the water change and after). She turned off the UV light when she began medicating the water.
<I'd turn it back on>

The situation got much, much worse this morning (more black spots and white, raw sore under her right eye which looks like it is being eaten away and very raw). Maybe was lethargic on the morning of 16Jul2015, but she is swimming around acting normal now, not rubbing her head on the sides or bottom of the tank.
- Maybe was separated yesterday morning (16Jul2015) when my mom saw her condition, with the same pool water into a about 5 gallon fish tank
<Too small>
equipped with aerator (mom added a little more Melafix and some stress
<This tree extract may well be mal-affecting nitrification; DO monitor Nitrogen waste cycling>

Unfortunately that is the biggest container we have in the house.
She is swimming around normally but she isn't eating today (17Jul2015)
- All other fish appear to be okay. There are no spots on other fish and they are acting normal.
<Interesting; as my presumption is and was that the source of trouble here is/was environmental: Hence all would likely be similarly afflicted>

- Maybe was separated yesterday morning (16Jul2015) when my mom saw her condition, with the same pool water into a about 5 gallon fish tank equipped with aerator (mom added a little more Melafix and some stress coat). Unfortunately that is the biggest container we have in the house.
She is swimming around normally but she isn't eating today (17Jul2015)
Could this be hole in the head, or a fungus?
What is our best course of treatment at this point?
<Perhaps an antifungal (sulfa drug/s my fave), plus a modicum of salts
Since the container is too small for an Oranda, is there anything else we can do? We are beside ourselves!
<Get/use a larger container, or treat the whole pond with this Oranda placed back in it>
The photos below were taken right after she was separated (16Jul2015) showing the black spots on top of Maybe's wen and then the raw patch under her right eye:
[image: 173212d1437078847t nasty cracks Orandas wen maybe 1]
<http://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/attachments/freshwater-fish-disease/173212d1437078847-nasty-cracks-orandas-wen-maybe_1.jpg>[image:173213d1437078848t nasty cracks Orandas wen maybe 2]
<http://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/attachments/freshwater-fish-disease/173213d1437078848-nasty-cracks-orandas-wen-maybe_2.jpg>[image:173214d1437078848t nasty cracks Orandas wen maybe 3]
<http://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/attachments/freshwater-fish-disease/173214d1437078848-nasty-cracks-orandas-wen-maybe_3.jpg>[image:173215d1437078849t nasty cracks Orandas wen maybe 4]
173216d1437078849t nasty cracks Orandas wen maybe 5]
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
<I'd have you use the search tool on WWM (on every page) with the words:
Goldfish, Fungus, Treatment

Bob Fenner>

Gold fish. phys. injury, rdg.       6/5/15
Hi think I may have caught his eye whilst moving stones . His eye looks full of blood is there anything that can be done .doesn't seem to bother him . Many thanks Vanessa
<The usual good care (water quality, nutrition). Perhaps a bit of Epsom Salt. See (READ) on WWM re. Bob Fenner>

goldfish trouble-fused mouth??      4/22/15
We "won" some fair fish a year ago.... and ended up with one very expensive
<Yes; we of the petfish biz hand out free goldfish at fairs and school events, like an initial pack of Pall Malls, to hook future generations>
goldfish (that started out greenish by the way) that has been doing very well after much learning on our behalf that they are not actually cheap or easy to maintain!!
Now I feel we have made him part of the family and have spent far too much on him to let him just suffer and or die. we do not have a vet near that will help, 10 gal tank,
<Too small...>

two air stone bubblers, fake plants, just recently found out they need more than flakes( but has been fine), had a shell from the ocean in there then took out 4 mo. ago, med. filter, crappy city water with a lot of chlorine but treat and tests come
back good- ph levels high not real experienced there- learning-but nothing new for him really and I don't think that is related (I know it probly don't help but figure he needs as little stress as possible now right?).
<Some; not too much>
OK REAL ISSUE...his mouth has formed this white film/skin? over his mouth and it is just a little pen tip hole opening. He tries to eat and is otherwise ok but cannot get much in and most of it bounces off or floats to bottom where he continually tries to feed also with little success.
After Tetracare support advice I added aquarium salt (2 tbsp.)
<Of no use>
and have just given the second dose of Lifeguard,

I also searched your site and discovered only one post of advice which sounded similar (Goldfish issue-fused mouth? FAQ 3/26/08). Wondering if you can give me better advice- force feeding is foreign to me so is pushing a mixture into the
gullet (whats that!!)
<The fundus, stomach, area behind the buccal cavity>
I would like to try pushing thru the gills if u suggest that sounds less scary but I can get a pipette tomorrow, need to still find the maracyn plus or eSHa 2000
<Neither of use here either>

but hoping you can help or advise in the meantime. Thanks for your time!
<Can't say how much this overgrown mouth is due to genetics or environmental insult... would try feeding small sinking pelleted food (Hikari or Spectrum) as a staple... and hope for the best. In the meanwhile, read over what we have archived re GF care on WWM. Bob Fenner>
goldfish trouble-fused mouth?? /Neale        4/24/15

We "won" some fair fish a year ago....
<Please don't patronize these vendors. Giving live animals as gifts is bad enough, but Goldfish can be expensive pets.>
and ended up with one very expensive goldfish (that started out greenish by the way)
that has been doing very well after much learning on our behalf that they are not actually cheap or easy to maintain!!
<Indeed not.>
Now I feel we have made him part of the family and have spent far too much on him to let him just suffer and or die.
we do not have a vet near that will help, 10 gal tank,
<Too small; 30 gallons for 1-2 Goldfish, minimum.
A 10 gallon tank might work for a few months, but that depends on quality of filtration and frequency of water changes.>
two air stone bubblers,
<Not an alternative to filtration.
Connect air pumps to a sponge filter, and things get better. Do you have a nitrite or ammonia test kit? Get one, I'd recommend the nitrite kit, and test your water. If either ammonia or nitrite aren't zero, your fish will sicken, die.>
fake plants,
<Some live plants or fresh greens (lettuce for example) needed for these herbivorous fish.>
just recently found out they need more than flakes (but has been fine),
had a shell from the ocean in there then took out 4 mo. ago,
<Good. No seashore collectables in fish tanks, please!>
med. filter, crappy city water with a lot of chlorine but treat and tests come back good
<Meaning what? Numbers are what I need to be objective. I can ASSURE you that a tank 10 gallons in size, with a Goldfish, and no filtration  installed, will have BAD water quality. Simple science. Fish excrete ammonia, and without filtration, the ammonia sits there in the water.>
- ph levels high not real experienced there-
<Water chemistry isn't a big deal with Goldfish. So don't worry about this too much.>
learning-but nothing new for him really and I don't think that is related (I know it probably don't help but figure he needs as little stress as possible now right?). OK REAL ISSUE...his mouth has formed this white film/skin? over his mouth and it is just a little pen tip hole opening.
<Finrot or Columnaris (sometimes called Mouth fungus despite being bacterial). Quite common when Goldfish are badly maintained. Complicated by the use of sharp or coarse gravel in the tank (those brightly coloured gravels are the worst) because these damage the mouths of these fish.
Goldfish need a fine gravel, nice and smooth, because they suck it into the mouths and gills while feeding.>
He tries to eat and is otherwise ok but cannot get much in and most of it bounces off or floats to bottom where he continually tries to feed also with little success. After Tetra care support advice I added aquarium salt (2 tbsp.) and have just given the second dose of Lifeguard,
<The salt is doing no good and possible some harm. Tetra Lifeguard is a very mild general purpose medication. At best, it's a preventative. Add to the tank after transporting them or if they've been fighting. If water quality is good, it'll do a nice job of preventing infections. But it's an absolutely hopeless cure. It's specifically marketed at beginners who like the idea that one bottle will cure everything -- which if you think about it for a moment sounds unlikely. Your fish probably has Finrot or
Columnaris, and you need quite specific antibacterial or antibiotic medications. In the UK, I'd recommend eSHa 2000, while in the US, the old Maracyn 1 and Maracyn 2 combo is popular. Either way, nothing will improve if environment still sucks; you must have good water quality for medication to stand a chance of working. The parallels with the clean environment in hospitals should be obvious.>
I also searched your site and discovered only one post of advice which sounded similar (Goldfish issue-fused mouth? FAQ 3/26/08). Wondering if you can give me better advice- force feeding is foreign to me so is pushing a mixture into the gullet (whats that!!)
<Absolutely do not try force feeding. As a beginner, you're much more likely to do more harm than good. Goldfish can go months without food in wintertime. So going a few days without food while you medicate them isn't at all a problem.>
I would like to try pushing thru the gills if u suggest that sounds less scary but I can get a pipette tomorrow, need to still find the maracyn plus or eSHa 2000 but hoping you can help or advise in the meantime.
<Can offer both; read:
See what you're not doing, and fix it. Medicate alongside improvements to the environment as per Finrot and Columnaris.>
Thanks for your time!
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Problem with my goldfish's gill.       3/9/15
Okay...So my big, 'ol Goldfish. And I do mean big...and old. He's 8 years old and about 7 1/2 inches long.
. His left gill is very healthy looking.
His right side gill...unfortunately is not so healthy. There's something bad going on in the upper portion of it..It seems that something is swelling out, or inflammation of the upper portion his gill and I have no idea what it is..thus the picture.
Other than that....the fish seems to be doing fine. He's really not exhibiting any symptoms of a sick fish...not even breathing problems, that I can tell. He's not hanging up a the top or gasping for air. His scales are shiny and clear. There's no fin rot anywhere. He's active and his appetite is definitely not affected. Everything...save whatever is going on with his right gill, seems normal. There are no other symptoms like fungus, Ich, clamping of fins, fin rot, Anchor worms, protruding scales, Lice, Velvet...any of that kind of stuff...that I can tell.
So...since I don't know whats wrong...I cant treat it.
And thus...I come to you guys for help...please.
Thank you for any advise and your time.
Sincerely, James
<Some sort of growth, hyperplasia.... many other instances... archived here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>


Goldfish... hlth... floaty, rotting...         2/19/15
Hello, so I've had my telescope goldfish Rosie for about 3 weeks now, when I first got her she had a rotting away caudal fin, and a bit floaty. I treated her by keeping the water parameters perfect as well .as Epsom salts.
I also fed her sparingly twice a day with Hikari lionhead, and some steamed veg now and then. Her fin is almost fully healed but she is still floaty and her poop is white or clearish and extremely long and thin. It's been like this since I got her so I was wondering if this is a bacterial infection or a parasite. What medication should I use if any? Will medication ruin my nitrogen cycle?
<Greetings. Do have a read here:
And also here:
Most problems with swimming come from constipation rather than bacterial infections. If yours is healing properly, and feeding normally, she's probably fine. All fancy Goldfish suffer from skeletal deformities, and the combination of deformed body and constipation is what makes them so very prone to swimming problems. You could use an antibiotic if you wanted, and if you truly suspect a bacterial infection, but if your fish has healthy fins and is putting on weight, I wouldn't think this problem is likely.
Make sense? Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish       2/19/15

Yes makes tons of sense thank you for responding so quick!
<Most welcome.>
WWM forever!
<Scary thought!

Goldfish SOS       2/12/15
Hi there WWM!, I just rescued a butterfly telescope from a LFS and she had fin rot on her caudal fin, along with red streaking in her fins.
<Mmm; see WWM re GF Infectious disease... maybe just better conditions, perhaps an antibacterial added to foods, water>
She also was a bit floaty,

seems to slowly float up nose down whenever still. I had a 55 gal for her but it sprung a leak the day after so I'm resealing it asap (Why god why!!?),
and she's in a small cycled 10 gallon for now ( I know it's way too small) I've been doing two, 25 % water changes a day to keep up with her ammonia waste in the tiny tank.
I have started peroxide swabbing her fin and it's now beginning to show signs of regrowth-white ends, and the streaking is gone. I've added 6 teaspoons of Epson
<Not the printer co.>
salt for her floatiness. Also I've stopped feeding for 2 days now, and am planning to feed her only crushed peas after tomorrow. My question is, could this be a bacterial infection because her poop is white and stringy, one time it came out in a crumpled zig zag string, very thin.
<Not necessarily indicative; no>
If it's a bacterial infection will it clear up on its own or will I need to medicate her. If so what medications should I use?
<None if you can avoid it>
Also, is it bad to stop feeding her while she's fighting this illness?
<Best to feed sparingly; a few times per day... nutritious pellets>

Thank you
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
re: Goldfish SOS       2/12/15

Thanks for your response, she seems to be doing much better!
<Yay! BobF>

Gold fish injury      2/17/15
Hi there!
I have a large blue Oranda that has some kind of injury.
<I see the whitish area on this fish's wen>
I'm not sure if it's infected or will be infected, does it look like anything you've seen (disease wise)? It's possible he hit his head on a piece of drift wood, but there's really nothing sharp in the tank other than the DW. Other than that, I wouldn't know how it happened... He's not a fast swimmer.
<Mmm; not an uncommon situation>
We are treating the tank w Epsom salt for "floaty bloaty" and have been for about 2 weeks. I'm nervous to put him in our hospital tank as we just had a gf die in there last night from some unknown cause... What is your suggestion?
<To continue as you're doing currently; not to try specifically "treating" this>
Tank is a 200g with about 20 fancy gf and comets (mostly fancies).
<These sorts of whitish head growths come/go with these fancies... likely a matter of degrees of stress, from water quality, nutrition, perhaps a social component. Not a worry. Bob Fenner>

Re: re: Gold fish injury      2/17/15
Thanks for the amazingly quick reply!
So even though there is a sore that goes INTO his wen, (s small hole with some pink at the base) I shouldn't be too worried?
<No... if so; try the search tool on WWM... w/ just the word wen>
If it starts getting infected, what should I do? Does the Epsom salt help keep it clean like regular salt?
Thanks again!
<The reading. BobF>

Floaty bloaty goldfish (+ feedback on Bob Fenner's Goldfish Book)     1/19/15
Hi there!!
I have a 200g tank w about 20 comets and fancy GF, mostly fancies. I have an Rena xl and an Eheim 2217 (I believe that's the right model number) I have about 5 fancies that are floaty bloaty :(
<Indeed. Presumably you've read this article:
That's the basics, and if you click on the links at top, especially the FAQs about nutrition, you'll find we hear about this kind of thing quite frequently.>
I have switched their food to ocean nutrition 2 and have been feeding a lot more veggies (spinach, squash, zucchini, and occasionally duck weed). One fish's body is just smaller than my fist, so fairly large, and the rest are fairly small. Should I do the floaty bloaty Epsom salt treatment to the whole 200g tank?
I do have a 10 g hospital tank, but I am worried about it being waaaay overstocked with the affected fish.
<Quite so. No point medicating any fish in an aquarium less healthy than their normal home.>
How often do I need to do w/c's while using the Epsom salt? Im pretty good about a weekly 25%. What would be your suggestion?
<That's a good starting point. Simply add the appropriate amount of Epsom salt to each new bucket of water to replace the Epsom salt the water change took out. Since the recommended dose is 1-2 tablespoons per ten gallons, that's about 0.1 to 0.2 tablespoons per 1 gallon, or for an average 3 gallon bucket, about 0.3-0.6 tablespoons, which as it happens is roughly 1-2 teaspoons (there being 3 teaspoons per tablespoon).>
Thanks so very much.
Also, I can't tell you how happy I am to have found you. It's an amazing thing to know I have someone to go to with these questions. My LFS doesn't know anything. And on your suggestion a while ago, I did purchase your book. It was a good read! Thanks again!
<Thanks for the kind words. Bob'll be pleased to know you enjoyed his book.
Good luck, Neale.><<Oh yes. RMF>>
Re: Floaty bloaty goldfish (+ feedback on Bob Fenner's Goldfish Book)     1/19/15

Thank you for the quick response! I have read the attached article on malnutrition. I have dramatically changed how I feed my Goldie's. I do still rely on flake much more than I want to though
<Do switch to pellet instead>
... 4 days flake and 3 days is veggies...but maybe I'm over feeding the veggies?
<Doubtful; unless they're (the greens) are polluting the water>
It takes them a while to eat up the zucchini and spinach. I also have a 10 in Pleco that needs time on the zucchini... They work on it all night there will still be some some rinds floating around, but they'll eat it... I honestly don't know how much they'd be able to eat in a few minutes... Does that rule still apply to veggies?
The day after I feed veggies, the tank is quite cloudy, and there's a ton of debris floating around. ( I'll often do a quick 10-15% just cause it looks bad). I know I am supposed to feed "sparingly" while using the Epsom salt... How often is sparingly? Every other day?
<Just less per feeding; same number of feedings>
What would I need to grow elodea?
<Water, light, some nutrient>
Just the 10-20,000k bulb? Is a HOB filter ok?
Would I need a pink spectrum bulb too?
Does it grow pretty fast?
<In "right conditions" yes. See WWM, the Net re Egeria densa>
(I would do that in a separate tank with plants only) how big of a tank would you suggest for this? Or can I use a big tub/bucket?
<As big as practical. A "kiddie wading pool" (outdoors is fine in most locales, and there are colder water species) is ideal>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish looking black-dusty     1/19/15
Hi Guys!
Thanks so much for this great site. I recommend it all the time to people.
I have a 55 gal. with 2 goldfish in it. There was another goldfish up until about a month and a half ago that was about four years old that died pretty unexpectedly. It had no health issues that I knew of, it began to act lethargic and by day 2 or 3, it was laying at the bottom of the tank, not eating, not able to swim and it died the next day. (I don’t know if that is pertinent or not
<Let's see; good to have the data point>
—it had no signs of illness, no dropsy, no PopEye, no red streaks or spots/dots/fluff—it was really weird. I changed about half the water in the tank after it died.)
Anyway—My ammonia is 0, my Nitrate bobs around a little, but I try to keep it low (under ten usually, never more than 15). I need to get a new Nitrite test kit and haven’t tested it in awhile, but it had been holding at 0 as well. I like to change water often and keep the tank pretty clean, so I doubt I’m dealing with water issues... but could be wrong...
Anyway, my problem is with one of the remaining fish in the tank. It was pretty small when I got it about 3-1/2 years ago and it was a plain, bronze colored fantail. (It’s maybe 4-5 inches long now, including the tail) Anyway, a couple years ago, it started to change color to orange, which is what I kind of expected—and the entire fish was orange except for a tiny little spot on the base of it’s tail which stayed darker (same spot on both sides of it’s split tailfin) Everything seemed fine, no worries.
Now, a couple (few?) weeks ago, I noticed the fish looked sort of dusty. I thought maybe it had been digging through the substrate (I use the substrate that’s been recommended on this site a few times, though I can’t remember offhand what it’s called—but it’s basically like black sand) and had sand granules on it’s head. The fish was acting normal, hungry as usual, so I didn’t worry about it. The next day the granules were still there. It looked almost like charcoal dust was stuck to it’s head, except the “dust” is not raised to my eye. Again, fish seems happy, eating fine.
I continued to do water changes as usual, test parameters as usual—Nothing out of the ordinary. However, one day, I noticed that these black granules seem to be covering more and more of the fish. They are not raised—but I’m not sure if it’s a color-change, either. The fish before (when bronze and orange) was rather shiny. Now, where the black is, it looks matte-finished or like velvet (like a moor, kind of.) The fish is about a third black now—but not in a solid way—its covered in these charcoal dusts spots.
I Googled this and read through WWM as well and haven’t been able to find much. So, reluctantly, I asked my local pet store and the woman there thought it was a bacterial infection and suggested I try Maracyn Plus in conjunction with Jungle Antibacterial food.
<Mmm; no; not necessary, or advised>
Okay... I read the bottle and it didn’t seem like it was too invasive—doesn’t seem to mess with the bio-filter and is only 3 treatments spaced a day apart, so I thought I may as well give it a shot (Thinking perhaps this black dusty-looking stuff could be related to what killed my dead other goldie from earlier)
Well... I put in my last dose yesterday and I’m going to change water tomorrow, and it has made no difference. I have also tried the anti-bacterial food, though it says to feed it for 2 weeks and it’s only been six days, but the fish not only is still dusty-black, but the black gets more spread every day.
Is this a natural color change, or do I have something else going on??
<Very likely it is natural. Have seen this sort of change many times before... Genetic>
If you think it is something else, is there something I can try? I would hate to lose another fish... I had the tank set up with these 3 fish in it since they were about an inch and half and haven’t had much issue with it until now...
(Ps—I also have a AquaClear 70 back filter on it, some extra aeration (air stones), heater (about 76 degrees)—the usual set up. Our water here tends to be on the hard side, but since it’s not drastically hard, I don’t mess with it or the pH)
<I would not do so either. Better to stick to just partial water changes with the tap/source water every week>
Thanks again-
<I would not be concerned re this fish's appearance. It will likely continue to change; with some trend back to more golden over time; more so with good nutrition and water quality. Bob Fenner>

Fantail with haemorrhages/white "tufts" on scales     1/10/15
Hello WWM Crew!
As a long time reader of the site I would like to express my profound and
sincere thanks for the work you do! (I would rave on, but instead will get to the point of my email!!)
The goldfish in question, (Blinky, since I know you adore cute-sy names ;),
is 2 year old fantail, 12cm excluding his tail and has always been in excellent health. He was purchased from a chain pet store in June 2013 when I took pity on his one-eyed wiggle at the front of the tank. In Sept 2013, he flew from Canada to France and survived complications of water leaking from his bag. He shares his tank with a black moor of similar size (also from Canada :), a 6cm fantail; (the latest addition on Nov 21
<Mmm; thank you for your careful recording, relating... this may be the source of a/the pathogen>
8 week quarantine when I thought Blinky was better), about 10-13 albino aeneus Corydoras (adults and offspring), and (formerly) one female albino Ancistrus (8cm).
The tank itself is 350L and has been running since June when they moved up
from a 200L (with most of the decor and established filter media.) It is filtered by a Eheim 2260 filled with floss, sponges, JBL BioNitrat EX and Substrat pro. Temperature is 24 C, pH runs around 7.5-8.0, NH4 and Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10-25, GH 7-14dH and KH 10dH (JBL EasyTest strips, double checked with API master kit occasionally). I change between 20-40% of the water every week
<I'd do the 20 every week>

or 2 depending on my schedule, using tap water (French
alps!) conditioned with Prime. Tank is planted with Anubias mounted on rock and a mini forest of Hygrophilia polysperma. Egeria densa is added floating until eaten :)
<This Elodea might be a source>
There are numerous mangrove roots as well.
Substrate is JBL sansibar grey, (which replaced 1mm ceramic (??) balls Oct
23rd, which the black moor kept getting stuck in his nostrils :/) Lighting is 2x38W T8's on for 6 hours daily. I add Botanic CO2 booster (generic Seachem Excel) at suggested dose daily to attempt to control the beard algae. The tank was treated with eSHa 2000 from Oct 4-7th due to a white
"plaque" on the black moor's side; he has always been prone to infections
and crashes into things regularly due to his swim bladder issues (he’s also a bottom sitter.)
The Corys breed every 5-7 days, luckily most of which
are eaten or I would be up to my ears in albino Corys!
They are fed (rotating on my whim) Tetra and JBL flakes, Hikari lionhead
pellets, HK sinking wafers, HK wheat germ fancy goldfish food, Saki-Hikari Fancy Goldfish, HK algae wafers (every day for the Plec.) and Sera vipachips. On occasion they also get Ocean Nutrition frozen cubes (bloodworm (I know, I know but they LOVE them!), daphnia, Artemia and mysis. I used to feed them oranges, lettuce and cucumber, but I always found they were lethargic afterwards so I stopped. I add either Atvitol or sera vitamins regularly. I try to keep Egeria in the tank, but they may go for a few weeks without when I get busy!)
(wow, that's a lot of info...)
Blinky developed his first white "tuft" spot at the beginning of Nov. Over
the next 2 weeks, approximately a dozen tufts appeared and resolved without treatment. Blinky was very irritated, flashing, twitching, yawning and “coughing". The tufts appear at the tips of his scales, and were initially discrete without obvious parasitic or traumatic cause. They stick out from
his body, are about 2mm long/wide and don't appear to be fungal in origin,
too "neat".
<Yes; discrete... Perhaps... Lernaea; which the eSHa wouldn't treat>
The haemorrhages are beneath the tufted scales, with the blood
just below the scales. The tufts and haemorrhages last for 2-4 days and resolve spontaneously. Not all the tufts have haemorrhaging associated with them. However, in the first batch, 2 were associated with clear white "strings" approx. 1/2 cm long. I could not see any structure to the strings to suspect Lernaea,
and had no vector,
<As stated above... the last fish, Egeria>
so I suspected they may be
slime coat bits. I initially treated the tank with salt (NaCl) at 3 g/L and Praziquantel
<For worms; won't eradicate crustaceans>
according to suggested dosage for 10 days which decreased
the outbreak slightly. The tufts which did appear had small haemorrhages at the attachment point and usually a clear "string". I did a skin scraping but found very little; his gills appeared inflamed but normal otherwise. He got a 5 min salt dip at 30g/L after the scrape (Nov 15th) after which he improved greatly, only to relapse a couple weeks later.
After more reading on WWM, I decided the haemorrhagic points and strings
could be anchor worm,
<Yes; my guess so far>
as was suggested to another reader with similar
symptoms. I treated the tank with JBL Aradol (Diflubenzerone) at the
suggested schedule/dosage Nov 29th which lasts 3 weeks. Initially Blinky
appeared slightly improved, but was unchanged by the end of the treatment.
After the Aradol, I scraped him again and found a few flukes and a single
protozoa which I couldn't identify.
<Do you have images of these?>
Starting Dec 31, I tried salt dips at
30g/L for 4-6 min.s for 3 days. (Unfortunately, the first dip was at 60g/L due to an error on my part and was only 30 seconds before he rolled, poor guy.) After the dips he was again markedly improved for almost a week, but the haemorrhages again returned with a vengeance.
As of three days ago he had a thickened slime coat, about 20 white tufts, a
dozen haemorrhages of various sizes from 2-7mm diameter and the attachment points of his pectoral fins showed internal haemorrhaging and the underside of his operculum were bloody. There is no obvious loss of integrity of his scales at most of the sites, but the bigger ones can have some
raggedness at the edge of the bloodied area, particularly one on his
operculum and the posterior portion of his dorsal fin. I have also thought there may be some damage to the underlying tissue at those two same points. One of the Corydoras is acting as a wrasse and loves to eat whatever is on him; perhaps her efforts are causing the spontaneous resolution of the inflammations or is she just eating his excess slime coat? I repeated the 30g/L salt dips the last 3 days and most of the
haemorrhages and tufts have resolved, superficially he looks almost
normal. However, he is still lethargic, bottom sitting (never did this before), and does the dash and flash regularly. He is still eating but much less than normal.
<The salt/s won't do any good here>
Now, my moor is also lethargic. He has a single white spot on his
head, but he often has these which come and go, like little wen growth areas. It is very different from Blinky's tufts. He has been a bottom sitter for years now; he’s an awkward swimmer with his swim bladder issues and long, flowing fins. He tends to be lazy, usually Blinky poking at him is what gets him moving. (I never thought two goldfish could be so attached to each other.) Yesterday, I saw the Plec lying underneath the Moor eating his fins,
<Common trouble>

something I had never witnessed before, nor seen
similar damage. Needless to say, she is no longer in the tank. She has
caused some pretty major damage to about 1/2 his fins, but they are already
losing their raggedness. I don’t think the tufts on Blinky could be caused by the same type of thing, they were sticking out from him, not eaten from him, but perhaps it was a result of the Plec?
<Not likely; no>
Lastly, tonight after feeding, I noticed all of my Corydoras and the small
fantail were gilling very rapidly, they have been normal all day. A few of the Corys have also started flashing. Tested the water with API kit, all parameters as above. I did a 40% WC on wed, and 10% yesterday. There have not been any possible contaminants during the day (unless the feline-cats
were really getting into mischief! ;). The tank is currently salted at
2g/L, I was going to go up to 3g/L
<... I would not do this>
tonight but I think I will wait on your
advice. I know the Corys don’t like the salt. but they have previously tolerated it well. I haven’t raised the temperature as I can’t rule out columnaris. I was going to move Blinky into another tank, and treat him
with some antibiotics, (likely Furanol (Nifurpirinol) or Furanol
2(sodium-nifurstyrenat)) as a first line choice, but with the other fish now showing signs of illness I think I may be better off treating the whole tank?
<I would try treating with another arthrocide: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/anchorwrmfaqs.htm


Help! What are my next steps? Thank you in advance for your help and
advice, I really hope to get Blinky and his buddies back to normal!!
<And adding another filter, likely a hang-on power type of size. Bob Fenner, who is sending this on to Neale Monks for his independent review>

Fantail with haemorrhages/white "tufts" on scales     /Neale       1/11/15
<<I don't disagree with anything significant that Bob said. But a few comments might be worthwhile:
(1) Since you're in Europe, buying antibiotics without a prescription is prohibited. There are pros and cons to this, which we can discuss another time. But for now, unless you get the fish looked at by a vet, the antibiotics Bob suggest are a non-runner. We do have some excellent aquarium medicines available in Europe that largely substitute for antibiotics, and my favourite is a product called eSHa 2000. It seems to have low toxicity (safe with filters, and seems safe with catfish and even pufferfish). But is also quite effective, and almost every time I've used it, it's done the job! It also happens to be economical, another plus. About £5 for a bottle, enough for 800 litres. I'd suggest tracking this product down, possibly even by mail order if you can't find it locally. There are other anti-Finrot/anti-bacterial medications on sale, but honestly, this one is much the best, and my preference over, for example, the Interpet product.
(2) Salt is not at all toxic to Goldfish at 2 g/l, and for short-term therapeutic uses (a few weeks) will do Corydoras no harm at all. As Bob suggests, there's no real advantage, and possibly some risk, to using salt continually in tanks with soft water fish such as Corydoras, even at this very low dosage. But Goldfish won't be harmed by this amount of salinity. Indeed, carp generally inhabit slightly brackish environments all around the world.
(3) The combination of salt dips providing short-term benefits plus the appearance of Protozoans in the slime, reminds me of Costia. Another eSHa product, eSHa EXIT, treats Costia, and can be used alongside eSHa 2000 safely. These make a good treatment for the primary infection (the Costia) and the secondary infection (the bacteria). I have used this combination to treat Costia on pufferfish and it worked well, though did require a second course of treatment.
(4) If you do choose do medicate your fish as indicated, be sure to remove carbon from the filter if used. Both eSHa products seem strongly negatively affected by carbon (he says with the voice of experience!).
Cheers, Neale.>>
<Thank you (as always) for you input, summation Neale. B>

Very puzzled with Comet goldfish behaviour and/or illness. PLEASE help! No data of use     1/2/15
Hi there
I have read everything on your site for the past 2 months but haven’t yet found my answer! So in desperation i am contacting you.

I am in desperate need for my 6 year old comet. His friend just died two months ago, they grew up together and he (she?) has never been introduced to other fish. He is now relying on me for companionship. If I am not in the room where his tank is, he just sits there. He looks so sad and lonely when I am not near the tank. Otherwise he is incredibly friendly, boisterous, active and playful! He is a hoot with a crap load of personality. He is 20 cm long (nose to end of tail) and needs a larger tank (or area). He is in a 3 foot, 140 litres,
<Ah yes>
the last 4 years with his mate. I have never introduced other comets to him. Water parametres are all perfect. Three people checked it!! They said ‘salt is a bit low’.
<.... goldfish don't need "added salt", salts
... Combinations of metals and non-metals. There is sufficient ionic content in most all source waters... Unless you're using RO, distilled, some sort of "bottled water" that doesn't have measurable "hardness" I would NOT casually add salt/s to the water>
I don’t know what is wrong with him. He seems active when eating but his fins flick and he when he is quiet he suddenly shakes his head or darts, very quickly for two seconds and then starts swimming again. In the past two months I have paid for 2 ‘experts’ to come check him out.
<... should've put the money toward a bigger system>

One guy said he had flukes,
<? Did they sample, look under a 'scope?>
the other lady said he didn’t have anything and looked fine. I also took video to two other stores and they said he was fine! One breeder said it was normal goldfish behaviour.
<This is likely correct>
The first guy told me to give him para-cide, so I did for one night and he nearly died! Kept losing balance in the tank and lethargic! So I changed the water. Through extensive (obsessive) internet research I found it is toxic! In the last two months he has had tri sulfa and is now just finishing Prazi
(Blue planet fluke and tapeworm). And today for the first time I noticed some flashing on the gravel i think. He has a bit of streaking in his fins too for last couple months. I am beside myself with upset and worry about what to do. I can’t give him even more medication! He has also JUST started to hang out gasping at the top occasionally, more and more despite me adding another power filter and air stone. It doesn’t happen much but it seems he is skimming the surface. Intuitively I know something is up, but experts all say something different.
Most of the time when i am in the room with his tank he is very very active, dances for food, and swims around excitedly. It is when i leave and watch from a place he can’t see me he eventually just goes to sleep. When he sees me again his front fins flip in excitement again.
Thank you soo much, i would really appreciate your response as i am considering either re-homing him to an expert or euthanizing as i am beside myself with worry.
<... how much Nitrate is here? Any detectable NH3, NO2? I'd add some aeration/circulation, perhaps even another filter... consider adding a compatible (see WWM re) dither fish. Bob Fenner>

URGENT please: Re: Very puzzled with Comet goldfish behaviour and/or illness. PLEASE help! We are EMO   1/3/15
Hi Bob
<Where is the data I asked for? Please send. B>

Thank you. Today my comet 'slept' in one spot all day and when he 'woke' he flicked one front fin, then flicked the other front fin, then the top fin (this is daily) and then he 'flashed' on the gravel very quickly on one side of his body and then flipped over and flashed on the other side.
Then his whole body had like a spasm for about 3 seconds. He shakes his head suddenly too.
I still don't understand as in the past 2 months has had tri sulfa and also Prazi (two doses). He has always had carbon in a hang on back filter, Aqua Clear, but not now with the meds as Prazi was a few days ago, last dose.
Water is all zero and i have been changing it about twice a week or as instructed on the meds.
I do really feel something is up, does that behaviour seems right to you?
What is it? I am so stumped. Every time i think he is 'ok' he then has these spasms, flashes and twitches suddenly.
What does this mean? And what do i do?
Thanks again
Re: URGENT please: Re: Very puzzled with Comet goldfish behaviour and/or illness. PLEASE help!    1/3/15
Hi Bob
I have attached photos this time. Ammonia zero, Nitrites zero, Nitrates zero,
<... no; not NO3 zero; or how do you accomplish this? Use a different test kit>

Ph (don't know the reading but on the top end of the chart).
The readings have been like this for a couple of months since i learnt about them. I raised the two fish for 6 years, with 3 tank upgrades, without knowing anything about water parameters. Only in my search for why the other died did i learn about the readings (he died on Halloween by the way!).
And no, they did not look for flukes under a scope. The man said 'he has flukes' and the girl 'expert' here said she watched him for an hour and if she thought it was flukes she would do a scrape but didn't think so.
Today he slept, hung up the top alot
<No such word>
to mouth the water despite me adding another smaller hang on filter in the front of the tank (as seen in the pic). In the afternoon at dinner time he was active and eating like crazy again. Lots of fin flicking.
I am in Australia so hi from down under and THANK YOU for you expert advice!
<Almost assuredly something to do w/ water quality. Read here:

and the linked files above. B>
<In looking at your pix (a very nice fish BTW); your NO3 is NOT zero. See the color comparison chart and start serial (daily) changes of about 20%); vacuuming the gravel>

Re: URGENT please: Re: Very puzzled with Comet goldfish behaviour and/or illness. PLEASE help!    1/4/15
THANK YOU SO MUCH! Yes i can see that now re the NO3 colour. I compared it with my tap water which is bright yellow.
<Ahh, I see>
A couple of last questions if i may please please?
1). Do I put the carbon back into my hang on back filter now?
<Yes I would>
I did the 20% water change and the NO3 is now even darker orange and is scary.
<Not to worry; keep doing these daily... the NO3 will come down>
My comet is swimming and active a lot (not 'alot' ;)
today but still shaking head quickly and a bit of body spasm at times. I hope this improves him and it goes away. Will monitor.
2). How long do i do these daily water changes?
<For a week for now>
3) would a new 48" x 18" x 20" tank be big enough for him (and perhaps a friend or two)? I am not sure what my rental property floor will hold as the house is over 50 years old?
<Yes; good size, and YES re checking the floor, having it checked. DO SEE WWM re my articles re stands and floors>
I should have come straight to you! 2 months of stress, chaos and confusion with conflicting advise yours makes THE most sense! I can't thank you enough! What a steep learning curve!
<You're getting there. Bob Fenner>

More- now face rubbing - Re: URGENT please: Re: Very puzzled with Comet goldfish behaviour and/or illness. PLEASE help!        1/5/15
Hi again Bob
Today for the first time i noticed my comet rubbed his face vigorously into the gravel. It was almost violent and very scary.
I was sitting on the side of his tank. He swam over, turned on his side, pushed the side of his face and eyes right into the gravel really hard on that side, then flipped over and did same on the other side.
Yesterday he VERY was active after the water change and this morning i changed the water and then these behaviours started again and he isn't very active. But it is the first time i have seen this intense rubbing of his face. He still shakes his head from side to side suddenly and flicks fins.
Yesterday i added the carbon as you said, and with the water change I have been adding Prime and Seachem Gold Salt as i have always done for six years with water changes. It also seems as if the Ammonia reading is not bright yellow. A tinge green.
What does the rubbing of the face mean? And what do i do now? What am I don't wrong?
Thanks yet again!
<The same metabolite burn... keep doing the water changes, drop the salt... even the Prime isn't necessary with quarter or less percentage change-outs. B>
Re: More- now face rubbing - Re: URGENT please: Re: Very puzzled with Comet goldfish behaviour and/or illness. PLEASE help!        1/5/15
Thanks. If no Prime then do i add 'Water Ager' with these daily changes?
<As stated; nope>
I have 'Pets' Water Ager - Tap Water Conditioner. Neutralises chlorides, fluorides and chloramines.
Or just straight pure water from the tap?
<Just this>
Taa, much appreciated
Re: More- now face rubbing - Re: URGENT please: Re: Very puzzled with Comet goldfish behaviour and/or illness. PLEASE help! More EMO         1/5/15
Hi again, so sorry. Now my comet has a long white stringy poop?
<Not to worry; again; environmental>
There are too many signs for me to keep up with (I am keeping an eye on him since the other died).
Doing searches just lead to a variety of things it is quite perplexing.
Is the white stringy poop anything to worry about? In combination with other signs what are your thoughts please? He did have that actually when his mate died two months ago, but i thought it was stress.
Thanks again

Severe gill damage in goldfish     11/11/14
Hello Neale:
It has been a while since my last fish crisis, but I have a problem that I just can't troubleshoot. I have two 4 year old goldfish in a 50 gallon tank. Both are showing signs of severe gill damage. On fish has almost expired and I am wondering if there is anything I can do to save him. My water parameters, at least the ones that I can measure, are fine. Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 8, pH 7.8. I can't measure dissolved oxygen but have lots of surface agitation and I change 50% of the tank water twice a week-I sit the water first and treat with Prime.
A gill scraping did not reveal parasites. The gills are nice and red with no white patches or slime but they are shredded- both fish in the same tank exhibit gill damage like this. My goldfish in other tanks are fine. I am
hoping that I can save both fish- one is very ill but the other is still functioning well despite the severe damage. I understand that gills can heal if I act right away... but I really don't know what to do! What could be happening and how can I reverse the damage before it is too late?
<Gill damage can be caused in multiple ways. Without a photo or looking at the fish, it's hard to diagnose. Whitespot and especially Velvet attack gill filaments, leaving them vulnerable to secondary (bacterial)
infections. Treating for Whitespot and/or Velvet will generally allow the gills to heal naturally, though the use of antibacterials or antibiotics may be needed in stubborn cases. A fungal infection called Branchiomycosis
(or "Gill Rot") is caused by a microscopic fungus. Infected gills show excess mucous alongside inflammation, so a speckled grey and red appearance to the gills is common. Infected fish have trouble breathing (gasping,
lethargy, etc). Antifungal medicines particularly Phenoxyethanol will help.
Branchiomycosis is environmentally triggered, and is probably latent in most tanks (and on most fish) so when it becomes a problem, as with Finrot and regular fungal infections, you need to pin down the problem (usually
water quality). Gills can become inflamed or show excess mucous production when water parameters change or become stressful. Review ammonia, nitrite, pH (stability as well as values), copper, and any soluble poisons (check any rocks in the tank, for example, as well as paints, cleaning products, and other fume sources in the house). Very dark red to brown gill filaments are a classic sign of nitrite poisoning. Physical damage from fighting, struggling in strong water currents, jumping when scared, etc. can also damage the gills, leading to infection. Review, and act accordingly. Gas Bubble Disease is a name given to tiny bubbles of air getting into delicate tissues such as gills when water is supersaturated with air. This is uncommon in freshwater tanks because we rarely mix air and water as vigorously as in marine tanks, but worth reviewing. Finally, there are some gill parasites such as Ergasilus, visible as distinct white spots on the gills, though these are very rare in aquarium fish.>
Kind regards:
Gina de Almeida
<Cheers, Neale.>
This is NOT a picture of my fishes gills but it looks very similar. My fishes gills don't have any white bits. [image: Close-up of the bright red gills of the black grouper]
<Nothing attached.>

Update (everything new is in parentheses)... GF health      10/31/14
My email didn't send until today, and I wrote it a week ago! So I want to update all of the info--
Hi there! I have (4) issues to ask about.
<Fire away.>
I just moved my goldfish from their 100g to a 200g. (Two weeks ago now)
There's about 20 gf ranging from 1 1/2" comets to 8" comets and several fancies in between (also a 12 in Pleco- LFS said he WAS be our problem but I have never seen him be aggressive except to a dead fish, so I am not
absolutely convinced). There's only a TINY bit of ammonia (and small amount of nitrates. Everything else is in the normal range for our area- had the parameters checked at PetSmart today temp is 72 degrees F)
<Do you mean nitrites or nitrates? Easy to mix them up. Within reason, nitrate (with an "a") can be ignored. So long as you do weekly water changes and don't overfeed, nitrate generally stays below dangerous levels for most fish. Sensitive fish like cichlids should have nitrate levels below 20 mg/l if possible, and certainly below 40 mg/l, but otherwise goldfish and most community fish can tolerate much higher levels without problems. That's fortunate, because many tap water supplies (at least in the UK) have 40 mg/l nitrate to start with. Nitrite (with an "i") on the other hand is almost as toxic as ammonia. There are no safe levels of either. Detecting any is bad news. For sure more is worse, but even trace amounts mean the filter isn't working quickly enough, and exposure to ammonia and nitrite stress fish. In all likelihood, a low level that never goes away is worse that a brief exposure to a higher level that goes down to zero within a day or two. In short, detecting either is worrisome.
Review filtration, aquarium size, stocking, and feeding.>
1) I am worried there is not enough filtration after reading several posts on your site. We have a Rena XL (rated 240 or 260 gal, 400+ gph) and I use Purigen, not charcoal.
<Neither is useful in this situation. Do understand that chemical filtration media like carbon, Purigen, zeolite, etc. have to be replaced very frequently, probably weekly. They get "used up", and the bigger the load of fishes, the faster they're used up. They have no value in freshwater fishkeeping except in very specific circumstances, for example hospital tanks where biological media aren't viable. In standard issue community tanks and goldfish tanks, they're pointless. Worse even, because they're using up space that useful media -- biological media -- could go.
Remember, you want your filter to do just two things. Firstly, remove ammonia. The biological media does that best. Secondly, remove silt to keep the water clear. Mechanical media, such as fine filter wool. does that.
Chemically altering the water, which is where you'd use chemical media like carbon, doesn't fit anywhere in this plan.>
I was given one Eheim 2217. I think 150 gal, not sure what the gph is though.
<It's an outstanding filter. Had two of them over the years. Old school in design, but a wonderful bucket for biological media, and extremely reliable, running for 10+ years without problems. Set up as stated in the instructions, most simply by filling it with a stack of Eheim sponges (though you could just as easily and effectively fill with generic ceramic noodles). Turnover is 1000 litres/hour, about 260 US gal/hour. For Goldfish
you want something like 4-6 times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour, the lower end for fancy varieties, though with really big tanks (such as your 200 gallon system) you can get away with less if you don't overstock. Nonetheless, the Eheim 2217 (~260 gal/hour) plus the Rena XL filter (~450 gal/hour) should give between them sufficient filtration for your aquarium so long as stocking is moderate and feeding isn't excessive.>
I've never used an Eheim, so I have to figure out how to set it up, but I intend to use it... (Still do not have set up)
<Do visit the Eheim site; you can download manuals, e.g., here:
The 2217 isn't difficult to set up, probably much like the Rena XL, though older school so everything is that bit more fiddly. Canister filters have got a lot more user friendly since the Eheim 2217 came out! Anyway, the
taps on the two hoses stop water flooding out, there are metal clips holding the grey pump part to the green see-through canister, and on the inside are two green plastic concentric ring pieces that go top and bottom of your stack of media (by default, a stack of six big thick circular sponges). The only tricky bit is to remember which way round the green plastic ring pieces go: with their longer feet away from the media, which provides space for water to flow into the canister and then out of the media into the pump. I always recommend setting up a filter in the kitchen sink or outdoors first, using a bucket of water for a trial run, so you get the hang of reassembling everything somewhere you can see any leaks. Once you're happy, you can then empty the filter, move over to the aquarium, then set it all up again, confident you're doing it right. Since these 2217 units don't have a built in lever or pump for self-priming, you need to somehow suck water into the filter for it to fill up. Sucking the outlet pipe, so water flows into the inlet pipe, is the traditional way, but try not to suck water into your mouth! For most people, any bacteria in the aquarium water will help boost their immune system, but at worst, if you have a weak immune system or some other medical issue, it could give you a stomach upset (aquarium water can breed salmonella, which is why you should wash your hands after playing with a fish tank).>
Even w/ those two canister filters going, I don't think it'll be enough!
What do you suggest I do or use? I do have one air stone going, fish are not gasping, but 3 larger fancies sit on the sand substrate. ( everyone sits on the bottom now, they get active when I come by the tank, but once I walk away, they go back to their corner)
<Indeed; see above. With the 2217, once its media are mature after a 3-4 weeks, you should have just about enough.>
2) some of my fish have been splitting their tail fins somehow ( now there is visible blood veins- septicemia(?) in the tails of most fish). There's no aggression or sharp objects in the tank at all, I read it might be bacterial?
<Correct. Incipient Finrot.>
How do I go about treating the 200 gal, just buy A LOT of medicine?
<Indeed. Luckily, big tanks with big filters have fewer health problems.>
(Would I use Maracyn 2 or triple sulfa or furan-2? We also just had ich pop up, I treated twice w Clout, and it did not work for everyone. There's 6 fish w visible ich, some of those 6 have blood streaks and split fins.
Several of the other fish have split fins and blood streaks but no visible ich. LFS sent me home w Seachem's Cupramine- buffered active copper to treat the ich, but said the septicemia would clear up on its own. That doesn't
sound right to me... I'm at a loss as to what to do. I lost my black moor- who was my BABY! I'm still sick over losing her, I don't want to lose anyone else )
<I would get the other filter up and running, minimise feeding while ammonia and nitrite are detectable, and see what happens. Chances are with good water quality, the fish will self-heal.>
3) we got a new fancy last week (two weeks ago now) and he came home w lice, I've seen 2 now on fish. Can I use clout? Will it stain my sand-it's off white. (I plucked one off of the fish- and used Neosporin w/o
painkiller, the second lice had disappeared in the tank. , I think I found him today. So obviously the two rounds of clout didn't kill him... I'm praying to God that he didn't lay eggs in the tank and there's no more...)
<What sort of "lice"? Argulus-type crustaceans stuck to the outside of your fish? No, medications, even the blue ones, don't normally stain aquarium decor. There are fish lice treatments available, but since fish lice can't
complete their life cycle in aquaria, the usual approach is physical removal, and as you've done, taking care bacterial infections don't set into the wound.>
(4). Also I am looking into changing foods after reading your page on goldfish malnutrition, Can I feed the ocean nutrition formula 2 flake, pellet and frozen to my fish solely? I have a friend who will give me duck weed every week or so as well, but that's just now happening, it hasn't previously been part of their diet. I couldn't believe how much of that they ate in a day! Every now and then I give frozen squash and pees that were thawed out...but I know now that that is not enough )
<With Goldfish, a combination of good quality flake food alongside fresh greens is really all you need. Frozen brine shrimps and bloodworms make nice treats, but shouldn't be used too often, maybe at the weekends for a treat when you have time to watch them feeding. Defrost them in a small cup, and add a little at a time so the fish have time to get it all and you don't overload the filter (inevitably a lot ends up getting sucked into the filter if the fish don't have time to eat it).>
I'm sorry this is so much longer than my previous email, so much has happened in the last week! I've explained this situation at least 4 times today to different pet store associates...my head hurts.
I appreciate your help!!! Have a good day!
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Update (everything new is in parentheses)      10/31/14

Hi again!
To answer your question about nitrates vs. nitrites in my tank, there is a small amount of NITRATES, not nitrites.
<I see.>
(whew) I am treating the tank with the previously mentioned Copper treatment for Ich, is it okay to finish the treatments then start up on the water changes, or do you think I should do water changes now? –if I do water changes now, do I continue treating as indicated?
<Generally, you do water changes after the entire course of treatment of a certain medication, but before beginning a second course of treatment (whether with the same medication or a different one). However, if you wait a few hours between adding the medicine and doing the water change, things usually work out okay. So add the medicine in the morning, go to work, and do the water change when you get home. That sort of approach gives the medicine a few hours to kill the pathogens.>
I still need to treat 4.7mL tonight, tomorrow am and pm, then it will be done. Once I do start water changes, should I do one every day until there is no ammonia? (I want to say there was .5-1.0 PPM on the test strip-somewhere in the middle)- and the PetSmart said that was perfectly fine, obviously they were wrong.
<Indeed they were. Reduce feeding to zero while ammonia is detectable, and try to do 10-25% water changes until such time as ammonia is consistently zero. Do also check your tap water for ammonia. You can get false positives where chloramine is present, and though your water conditioner neutralises it, your test kit still detects this "harmless ammonia". So if tap water and aquarium water show the same level of ammonia, it may well be your filter is working just fine. That's one reason I prefer nitrite (with an "i") test kits. They tell you the same thing (i.e., the filter is working or not) but without the risk of false positives. Again, tap water can contain nitrite (rarely) but it's toxic whether in the tap water or aquarium, and in any case, your biological filter removes it. So all else being equal, zero nitrite means good water quality.>
What are the ceramic noodles you mentioned? I have Fluval ceramic prefilter media -(Pictured) (just a box I had laying around, never used, but that says its for preventing clogging of finer media. Would that be a spot for the bacteria to live?
<Fluval Pre-Filter media is mechanical media for trapping silt, and isn't the best biological filter medium. But Fluval BioMax, Eheim Substrat, Siporax, and various generic media are available. They're all ceramic, porous, and ideal for holding the good bacteria.>
I also have a bag of ceramic tubes (also pictured) which is very similar to the Fluval media, with small pieces of what looks like pumice rock that was in the Eheim canister when it was given to us… it was VERY dirty but we rinsed it out.
<This is Eheim Substrat, an excellent medium for biological filtration.>
The LFS said we could use just that with some of the Acurel waste and debris reducing pad, and that would be all we need. Is that correct?
<Pretty much.>
Or would you suggest more or different media? In our Rena, we have two different kinds of sponges (sizes of holes are different, a pack of the bio-stars (pictured), then I have some of the Fluval ceramic, then two layers of Purigen, then a buffer pad…
<Again, fine. The Purigen is pretty pointless, but some sort of fine pad is useful for trapping silt (no more than, say, 20% of the canister should be filled with this though, otherwise it's a waste). Clean the silt-trapping pads frequently, under hot, soapy water if needed, provided it's thoroughly rinsed out afterwards. A useful tip is to have two sets, one in use, and the other deep cleaned and drying out, ready to swap over as/when needed. The rest of the filter can be filled with sponges, plastic media stars, ceramic noodles -- but best avoid the pre-filter ceramics for maximum filtration. Because these are less porous than the biological ceramic noodles, they hold less bacteria per cubic centimetre.>
I sent a picture of what the lice looked like. He's the crustacean one I think.
<Quite so.>
So I wasn’t completely sure from your response- some times I am a bit slow-, can I feed the Ocean nutrition food to my goldfish as their main diet (flake, pellets, and if I can find it locally, the frozen) plus some frozen veggies, duckweed and blood worms maybe once a week? I was looking at seaweed wraps on the internet, Are there any ingredients that I need to watch out for or avoid? Or are all pretty much okay?
<Yes, the seaweed wraps are just repackaged (often overpriced) Sushi Nori, and all are good. Not all fish seem to like them though.>
I am on my second day of treating the Ich with the copper medication, and it seems like the ich is worse and has spread to other goldfish, is this just the cycle? Or should I be concerned? The treatment is supposed to be over tomorrow pm (day 3) and I am just worried it wont be cleared up by then.
<Yes, the medication only kills the planktonic "babies" not the adults in the Goldfish that you can see. Don't forget that chemical media like carbon and Purigen can/will remove copper, preventing the medication doing it's job. ALWAYS remove chemical media from the filter before medicating or there's a very good chance the fish won't get better. An exception to this rule is the old salt/heat approach to kill Whitespot/Ick.
This isn't affected by chemical media. It's also a lot cheaper than Whitespot medications, and usually works very well. Salt is, surprisingly to some, less toxic to fish than the copper and formalin used in most Whitespot/Ick medications. Goldfish tolerate salt extremely well, so you can actually use slightly higher salinities if you want, maybe 4-5 g/l, if you want a quicker response or the lower salinity isn't working sufficiently well (Velvet, for example, looks like Whitespot but is harder to kill at lower salinities).>
How do people with big tanks have their electrical set up? I have two pumps, two lights and an air pump going, (if it were tropical I would need a heater, and if saltwater, I know I would need more) what is the safest way to plug all that in? Right now I have all 5 plugged into a circuit breaker, and that is the only thing plugged into the outlet (so there is one open plug). Is that okay?
<Well, so long as the total doesn't exceed the current load of your sockets, yes, it's fine. In the UK that's 13 Amps. Few appliances state the current they draw, but they do state the watts (work done) and you known your local voltage (in the UK, 230 V) so you can work it out, as watts/volts = amps. Realistically, the wattage (power) used by aquarium appliances tends to be pretty low. An Eheim 2217 filter for example draws only 20 W, or 0.09 A -- not much at all! Heaters are often the biggest appliances we use in terms of current, usually 50-250 W depending on their size. But even a 250 W heater will only be drawing 250/230 = 1.09 A, a lot more than the filter, but still not a huge number in the scheme of things (a hairdryer for example can draw 10 A). That means that placing one heater, one set of lights, and one filter per socket is normally absolutely fine. If you're using a circuit breaker, it should cut out before you overload the socket, but if you're at all concerned, speak with a qualified electrical engineer (which I'm not, and don't want to be responsible for any damage to your home through misuse/overloading your home electricity system).>
Thanks Again, You are AMAZING! I wish I would have found you years ago! My fish would have been so much better off!
<Glad we can help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re:? Salt trtmt.s... Update (everything new is in parentheses)                  ‏            11/9/14

Hi again!
Everyone seems to get a long really well. Its a fun tank. :) Will the Emerald Green Cory Catfish be okay in the higher salinity for treatment?
<Yes. 2 g/litre is very little salt. Brochis splendens will be just fine at this salinity.>
Our LFS sounded a littler leery about it, and since I accidently referred to them in my previous email as "emerald green cities" (dang auto correct!)
I just wanted to double check!
<Corydoras catfish are more upset by repeated use of copper and formalin than they are salt. Indeed, this holds true for practically all freshwater fish. Salt is not a poison. Raising the salinity causes their osmoregulation system (in effect, their kidneys) to work a bit harder, but once the salt is diluted again, it's no harm done and things go back to normal. Copper, by contrast, is a poison, and the "art" in using it as a poison is to use enough to kill the parasite before killing the fish.
There's no guidebook of safe copper concentrations for tropical fish, which us why some species (catfish, loaches, puffers) seem to be more sensitive than others (tetras, barbs, cichlids). Indeed, for sensitive fish
(stingrays, Mormyrids, spiny eels) the use of copper simply isn't an option -- it'll kill them before it kills the parasite. Bottom line, if you're dealing with mild/early Whitespot infections, the salt/heat method is safer
and recommended as the first line of attack. If it doesn't work, then you might try out the copper and formalin based medications.>
Also, I wanted to double check my math and conversions... You said for salt, to do 2 grams of salt per liter, so a 60 gallon tank is 227 liters,
<Yes, 60 US gallons is 227 litres. In all likelihood your tank doesn't contain anything like that much water because of the rocks, gravel, etc. so you can round that down a bit, say 10-15%, to maybe 200 litres. Make sense?
It's always a good idea to count the number of buckets of water used to fill up the tank when you set it up, so you know *exactly* how much water it contains.>
so I would need 454 grams of salt total. (for me, that's 16 oz, or 2 cups of salt) Does that sound correct?
<Sounds about right. 200 litres, 2 gram/litre, so about 400 grams salt. Or 454 gram if you're going to assume the tank contains 60 gallons of water.
Don't guesstimate the salt using cups. Weigh it using kitchen scales. Don't add the salt directly. Remove a bucket of water. Dissolve the salt into this bucket. Stir thoroughly, and leave for 10-20 minutes to fully dissolve. Stir again. Over the next few hours, pour 10% of that water into the bucket, every 20-30 minutes. If there's any solid salt grains left, don't pour them in, but add some more water stir, and when dissolved, add to the tank, again taking your time. The aim is to adjust the salinity slowly and prevent the fish swallowing any undissolved grains of salt. The fish should adjust without problems and you can leave the tank running thus for 7-10 days. Meantime turn the heater-stat up a couple degrees, 28 C/82 F being optimal. Increase aeration and/or splashing from filters if possible to keep oxygen levels high. Be aware the Whitespot will get worse before it gets better. You can't kill the mobile parasite stage (whether using salt or medications) so you'll see the existing white spots grow and burst. But you should find that after a couple days the white spots are gone and none take their place. After 7 days the life cycle of the parasite should be broken, but it's normal to wait 10 days just to be on the safe side. When you're done, reverse the process by doing water changes (30-40%) every day for 2-3 days to dilute the salt away. Again, the aim is to avoid exposing the fish to any big changes in salinity.>
Thanks again! I hope you have a wonderful day!

<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Lumps on goldfish    10/4/14
I have a couple of goldfish that have developed lumps. They do not seem stressed and are eating just fine. They are in an outside pond.
I have attached some pictures that might help.
I have some koi and other goldfish in the pond.
Thank you,
Rick Hart
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/GFGrowthsF4.htm
and the linked files above. BobF>

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